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

WalkerTM's picture

Without such things ones cheats one self out of chance to deeper connection to the artist who created it. For me they add to mu listening enjoyment.

Dismord's picture

As 95% of my listening is to classical music and as some of that's opera & lieder (German Art Song) the words mean a lot. On the other hand I find a lot of the pop/Rock etc I listen to is recording in such a way that without the printed words I've got no idea what the hell they're thinking about. I don't enjoy reading this kind of material on a PC/Mac or music server screen.

Oliver's picture

A good and informative booklet about the backgrounds of the music, of the musicians, etc. is a must.

Fred's picture

Some buying decisions are made according to how well the packaging reflects the content.

Bob Walters's picture

Much available on web. Mostly wastes paper. Put it online!!! Or on disk! Killing trees & making plastic. Yuck.

jan's picture

The artists should have some place to put their autograph.

Grant's picture

Detail is very important to me.

Stefano Lindiri's picture

I think that today the quality of packaging and liner notes is the only reason to buy physical formats

chrissy's picture

...especially if a lot of thought has gone into the design.

CB in NJ's picture

The whole package is one of the major reasons I'm still buying vinyl.

chris's picture

Album art basically died with the LP. Optical disks were artless, and now dead. Now let's have something really creative: Not just downloadable puny PDFs for CD jackets that won't get printed, because the audio files won't be burnt on CD. No, let's have some real visual art for the computer (ok, iPad) screen. Maybe dedicated iTunes visualizers for each digital "album" ? This is only the beginning. Let creativity flow.

Woody Battle's picture

Album art took a big downgrade in quality going from vinyl to CD. Going to digital downloads it is taking an even bigger hit. Given the size and resolution of todays computer screens, I want at least 1200 x 1200 resolution on album art. I don't get that from scanning in CD covers or from downloads.

Robbert van Deursen's picture

The reason I am still buying cd's and boxsets.

Stephen Curling's picture

Sometimes it's nice to have lyrics to look at when you can't what the artist is singing/saying. The largest influence for me is price. The more the CD costs the more I expect to get in the case. A $9 CD can be a cardboard sleeve, a $12-15 CD should come complete with lyrics, thank you's etc. in a plastic jewel case.

greg-limelakephoto's picture

It contains so much information and art work pics that add so much to the music.

KEn's picture

I'm 57, I remember LP covers and I want the package to last, and to be interesting.

Mark Evans's picture

Very important. The liner notes tell you who the other musicians are that play on that particular album. That has led me to seek out their music as well if they are really outstanding session musicians.

Eric Shook's picture

I find it somewhat important. As long as it fits in my media rack, I'm fine with it.

Christian's picture

The packaging is half the fun. That's why I will never buy only data.'s picture

Just one more reason records offer more entertainment. Better sound, more content(liner notes), and that's not even counting cleaning your weed.

Nick's picture

This is why I don't even want to switch to a computer based musical system. Love sitting down, listening and catching up with the liner notes.

Brian Huempfner's picture

I don't read the liner notes every time I listen to a recording, but they are referenced occasionaly, and I for one would miss them if they were not available.

Johnny B.  Good's picture

Hipgnosis was the best design house when it came to record sleeves (Pink Floyd, 10cc, Alan Parson...). I bought everything they did for the art, and most of the time, the music was good, so it was an added bonus.

Ian's picture

Led Zeppelin III. Beck's "The Information". that's all I can think of off the top of my head in 30 seconds.

ACF's picture

Staring fondly at a cherished album cover, lovingly kept for decades, while the music transports you to other times and places is all part of the audiophile wonderful experience.

Scott Carr's picture

I refuse to buy downloads. I like the physical medium of CD/SACD with all the album covers, liner notes, artist pics and lyrics.

C.  Healthgut, M.D., F.A.C.S.'s picture

Album art is just one of the reasons why I buy exclusively vinyl.

Jimmy's picture

Since I brought up on vinyl, I always liked to read see & read these items on a album. Such packaging "introduced" the listener to the music (which still comes first). Nowadays, record companies trend towards cutting costs & this sort packaging one used to find on vinyl records for the most part no longer exists.

Tonko Papic - CHILE's picture

Recently I found a sealed package of all Beethoven nine symphonies (Karajan-Deutshche Grammophone- 1977) It comes with 8 Lp, a "Bonus Lp" with Beethoven testament and, a book. A fabulous book. I have the same in CD. I was really impressed by the quality of sound in Lp records. Far better than CD. And, the book is really fabulous.(The CD package is ridiculous).

Jim M's picture

Somewhat important. I like to know the times of each track.