How important is the packaging (liner notes, album art, etc.) that comes with physical formats?

Speaking of old formats, one major appeal that is lost with downloads is packaging. Or are those packages just waste? How important is the packaging (liner notes, album art, etc.) that comes with physical formats?

How important is the packaging (liner notes, album art, etc.) that comes with physical formats?
Very important
61% (105 votes)
Pretty important
22% (38 votes)
Somewhat important
9% (15 votes)
Not important
6% (11 votes)
A complete waste
1% (2 votes)
Total votes: 171

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

If the music itself (performance AND recording/processing) is enjoyable, then artful packaging is a nice bonus.

DG's picture

Depending on the quality of the graphics, pretty imporant. There are a few albums that remain a part of my consciousness more for their covers than their music. Plus, as my Good Records t-shirt says, you can't roll a joint on a digital download.

KRB's picture

In the interest of physical space, I have ditched jewel boxes and liner notes in favor of CD binders.

Steve K.,Pompton Lakes, NJ's picture

Need the info!

Larry AKA Poor Audiophile's picture

I especially like liner notes. I like learning about the music & in the case of Classical, the composers. I would like to know more about how an album was recorded as well. Examples include: Mapleshade & Yarlung. Too bad Reference doesn't do this much.

Postal Grunt's picture

The artwork and liner notes help to build a connection and places a value to the music, for good or ill. A CD-R is just a copy from the library or a friend's collection and the value is often just the cost of the CD-R and the jewel case.

Bart Lambert's picture

I'm fond of finding out a bit about the background of the recording, ánd the artists. And I don't want to be online the whole time for that.

John Blackwater's picture

Where to begin? Facts, links, explanations - good liner notes have it all.

Tom Hardy's picture

Completes the experience

jason's picture

Moreso for Classical, but also desirable for certain old Popular

Jay Egger's picture

It's why some people still purchase an album in store.

Kevin's picture

Being an audio engineer and a musician, I am ALWAYS interested in who played on the album along with engineers, producers, studios, mastering houses/talent, etc...

Keith's picture

Always read the liner notes simultaneously with that first listen.

Doug Bowker's picture

Love the art you get with good vinyl. A big reason to stay with the format and it adds a lot!

Cody's picture

Vinyl jacket art FTW

Bob Pody's picture

I am always interested in the performers, and insights or history regarding the music. Liner notes should be included with downloads.

Andy's picture

The music is all that matters. Anything physical that comes with it is just extra.

Nathan's picture

If record companies want to sell physical formats then they need to find ways to distinguish their products and to make consumers want the genuine or definitive article.

Rob's picture

As someone old enough to remember LP as the primary format I have no trouble understanding the powerful appeal of those beautiful 12 inch graphics and colorful labels. CD packaging and artwork is also beautiful and I consider good liner notes a significant enhancement. I don't consider them to be a minor factor.

eric Stern's picture

I started collecting records in 1960 and packaging was important to me then and remains so today. My eye sight hasn't improved over the past fifty years, but neither has the packaging. I still prefer vinyl and that has more to do with sound quality than print quality, but that's another discussion

michael's picture

to me its very important,its there if i need it.

Dr.  Joseph Lee,Toronto,Canada's picture

The packaging is very important. This point is best illustrated by those fantastic table size book that comes with the box set by Bear Family Records in Germany. Besides excellent written notes with pictures of the star, the entire detailed discography is included together with original album covers, labels and 45 picture sleeves and labels. Examples include career-spanning history of such stars as Ricky Nelson, Doris Day, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Everly Brothers. All these box sets, with the CDs and books, are part of my prized collection. Good job, Bear Family...but when is Paul Anka box set coming out? Probably not for a long time (according to a recent interview with Paul Anka)

Al Earz's picture

It is important to see who is present in the studio. Lyrics,photos, album art,something tangible to hold and peruse while listening.

df's picture

Love great packaging, but the music is the most critical part. When the two come together it's really a wonderful experience. Vinyl had the advantage of size in packaging (Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick; the Who - Tommy; Led Zepplin - In Through the Out Door; etc.) but even CD"s have been done wonderfully. Pretty much any of the Miles Davis " The Complete..." series such Columbia Sessions, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson Sessions. A wealth of music, supporting liner notes, great design in a beautiful package.

C.D.  @ Austin Tejas's picture

It all depends on the purchase... If it new or old or CD vs LP vs DVD... If I'm buying a original LP of Dark side of the Moon.. I want the stuff inside.... Now days I download music from I-TUNES.... I'm not happy with the sound quality .. but its so damn convenient... But I LOVE cool packaging ... Give me a sticker.. And I will gladly stick it on something.

Nodaker's picture

I like having something with a disc, but I don't always read it like I used to. I don't have the time like I used to either so I said pretty important but I could live without them if there was something on the web I could look at.

bssk's picture

It is very important because it is the simple and easy way to get to know about the musicians, recording engineers, equipment used, location, lyrics and inspiration for the album. I am not aware of a media player / computer based player that can provide all these information while playing a song (with minimum clicks). This will be a good App for smart phones.

Paul Basinski's picture

I vividly recall taking my copy of Jonathan Edwards' Sunshine out of its bright green Capricorn 45 RPM sleeve. The first song I owned, and still do! See it spinning here: That was 40 years ago. (Don't get me started on albums, I played McCartney last night and found the little note Glen Case had written inside the cardboard cover when he was my roommate at Geneseo State in 1977. Hi Glen!) Today, I download nightly, and like the rest of us love the convenience, the fine sound through my Music Streamer. But it ain't the same folks.(Will the latest generation retain these same deeply imprinted memories-ah the first time I hit Backup files as the little box opened on my laptop?) Something's lost and something's gained.

Ridfan's picture

I LOVE the large packaging of LPs especially when they come with booklets and such...

Geoffrey S's picture

I still remember when I first started buying LPs, (and that was some time ago!), how much joy I got out of the cover art work, liner notes, and many of them had the lyrics as well.It really gave that pride of ownership feeling as well,they looked and felt like something of value. These are some of the reasons I still buy LPs.