CD Albums Increasingly Using DVD Video Content To Spur Lagging Sales
The latest marketing concept to spur lagging CD sales is the increased use of video content. The latest boxset of The Doors and the latest Weird Al album make good use of this marriage of audio and video content.
The Doors new boxset involves 6 CDs and 6 DVDs and has to be the greatest marriage of audio and video technology ever marketed as a mainly audio boxset. The albums sound and video quality are excellent, just as should be expected by any fine product from Rhino records. Far better sound quality than any of the 1980's Elektra records CD reissues of the six original Doors studio albums. Only the awful boxset packaging can really be faulted. To say the least, the packaging is the worst mess I've ever seen. The box itself is very difficult to open and has to be reglued with a clump of sticky glue gum stuff each time it's opened up. What a mess. Just store the six double albums on a good shelf with your regular CDs and avoid reconstruction work on the box each time you want to listen to a disc. For the aging fans of the Doors in their 50's and 60's, this is no kind of packaging to go with. The six booklets that come with each album are also written in very small type, again something that ignores the declining eyesight needs of the aging Doors fans. What The Doors still have going for them is strong legions of loyal fans, still young enough not to need a hearing aid that are still willing to buy repackages of their material for well over $100, marketed as a 40th anniversary product. But, the albums are squeezed in way too tight anyway in the box, despite plenty of airspace elsewhere in the box. The very worst boxset packaging ever, but some of the best sound quality and video content ever. An excellent boxset in every regard except the packaging of the box itself. The definitive collection of The Doors, far better in sound quality than any original vinyl Lp or single or first issue CDs by Elektra. At least twice as good in audio quality as any of these other vinyl or CD releases of the past from The Doors.
Weird Al also has made extensive use of DVD content in his brand new Straight Out Of Linwood CD, that is marketed as a Duodisc, supposedly a CD on one side and a DVD on the other with 6 music videos and a documentary plus the entire album done in dolby 5.1 audio, which would be great if only the songs were much better. Not a single song stood out as very enjoyable to me, compared to any of his previous albums. And going from the very primitive recordings of "Another One Rides The Bus", which sounded like his parents bathroom doubled as his makeshift recording studio to the very crystal clear audio quality of DVD audio dolby 5.1 channel sound is only worthwhile if Weird Al has some good parody material to present. Without good material, this audiophile technology seems like sort of a waste, especially for Weird Al recordings which wallow in their own sheer awfulness. Perhaps the new album was such a disappointing letdown, that the aded DVD content was the only way to make this weak of a Weird Al effort seem worthwhile. Look for this album in future cutout bins.
Another serious problem with the new Weird Al album is that it is not really a music CD at all on one side, but merely a double sided DVD. The audio side simply will not play on almost all CD players unless they are also a DVD player. This limits the usefulness of this disc, almost ensuring that you will not play it all that often like a real music CD you enjoy over and over. Unless you can convert the audio content to a music CD on your home computer so you can take the audio portion with you to play in other devices, then this Weird Al album is pretty much only a DVD, and a DVD only, and not even a great one at that. Largely a failed experiment by Weird Al who is usually far better than this not very good album would seem to suggest. Weird Al was actually pretty good when in the past he claimed to be "awful". But this new album is mostly just plain bad.
Hopefully the marriage of audio and video will only increase. And some true Duodiscs can actually be made in the near future, not just double sided DVDS with limited usefulness as audio CDs.