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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Although musicians and labels have been slow to jump into application production for mobile devices, major artists such as Björk and Lady Gaga have recently released expensive and expansive app-based virtual albums, suggesting apps are becoming an increasingly viable format for packaging and delivering popular music. This chapter analyzes app-based albums like Bjork’s Biophilia to theorize on app music and its impact on production and consumption of music commodities. Through historical analysis of enhanced CDs and interactive CD-ROMs as well as close reading of a range of virtual albums, this chapter explores the possibilities and problems apps present as they mediate our aesthetic and affective relationships with cultural goods like music. Although their artistic potential is exciting, app-based albums are nonetheless limited by the demands of the platforms and software that constitute them.

Keywords: apps, app music, virtual albums, commodity, format, enhanced CDs, interactivity, CD-ROMs, Bjork, cultural goods

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