In his Blog in the Metro Times Don Was bemoans the loss of album notes and credits with downloads on the iTunes store. He says, “Now I’m starting to wonder if this laissez faire attitude towards iTunes is becoming part of the problem and contributing to the devaluation of the album experience.”
I agree that iTunes offers a dearth of information, even in the “get info” section where a song’s metadata resides. But it’s not as bleak as Was makes it out to be. Frankly, liner notes are so 1960’s.
Nowadays every band and musician I know has their own Myspace, Facebook, and web sites. These can and do serve as replacements for liner notes. If I want to find out more about a performer, I merely Google them, check out their sites, and if they’ve done their homework, I can find out everything I need to know. I use this methodology every time I write a CD review because I often get “Advanced Copies” that contain no cover art, liner notes, or anything else I need by way of production information. I also use Google and the Internet to get information on music playing through my computer. It’s faster to web-surf than walking over to my CD racks, finding the CD and reading the liner notes!
Don Was is correct that original liner notes bundled with a music files are becoming a thing of the past. But if you know how to use the Internet, finding information on an artist or particular musical selection is easier and more comprehensive than ever before. You just need to use 21st century tools.