Album covers

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I think one of the things that attracts many of us to LPs is the covers themselves. Sure, there's a ritual involved in handling the media, placing the tonearm over the spinning disk, carefully lowering the needle into the groove. And then there's that first moment of mentally adjusting to the ticks and pops and surface noise before the music comes richly forth. But the album cover, that's where we connect with the artist. The problem with today's cold approach to music management through computer screens does little to address the disconnect. We used to feel more connected with the artists, their personal taste in album art, liner notes, even the labels mattered and gave us insight into their beings. Not so with holding an iPad in your lap. There's much affection for Roon, the new (old) kid on the block for music management. And while all music managers are basically the same, controlling different views of albums covers and song tracks, Roon does something endearing to us that other systems do not. Their approach connects us more with the artist than other programs like JRiver, or iTunes. And they do this in a rather straightforward, simple manner. If you sort by artist, you get a picture of the artist, not a set of album art thumbnails. And this is an important distinction. iTunes and JRiver offer the same information organized differently for each view. Album view places covers in alphabetical order. Artist view rearranges the same info to reflect groupings by artist, not alphabet. Yes, there's added advantage because now I see all in my library by that artist, but truth be told, I am no closer to the person or group than before. When I hold an album cover I flip it over to learn about what? The artist. Yet few computer based systems do the same. In fact, Roon seems to be the only one that does. This is good stuff. Getting us closer to the music and the musicians is what it's all about. Pick up an album cover again and remember just how connected we once were. It feels good and close. It is, after all, all about the music and the artists that make it special and endear us to the creators of music.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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