When will Apple open up iTunes LP’s?

At the recent Apple’s iPod Gushfest, they announced a new feature in music purchases in the LP format.  This is supposed to be the next generation of the album format’s liner notes, photos and additional goodies you get when you pony up money for a CD.  This looked like a feature that may turn out to be cool (depending on how much they charge for this), but as a band that sells on iTunes I was very interested in how the LP was going to become available.

Details are starting to formulate, but because Apple hasn’t been very forthcoming with details (as if that’s a surprise), it’s given away to rampant speculation.  Initially the news broke that Indie (Independent) artists trying to implement the LP solution were told by iTunes reps that LP’s weren’t available to Independents.  Not only that, but to get an LP into iTunes, labels needed to pony up a $10,000 production fee.

Apple refuted the claim saying that they’re going to release open specs, and that no production fee would be charged. The fact that they’re going to release the open specs should hopefully enable content creators to create them – but we’ll see if they really become successful.  It’s surprising that iTunes doesn’t appear to have a sense of urgency about putting these specs out, considering that these have been out for over 6 weeks and only has 16 LP’s to show for it.

My guess is that unless they open LP to include a lossless audio format, there’ really isn’t going to be much incentive to get people spend the extra money and buy these instead of a CD.  I would also guess that Apple probably put these together due to pressure from the record companies and probably won’t invest their full attention towards this – not unlike the Apple TV.