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Do Liner Notes Still Matter?

Photo via Bear in Heaven, who don't sweat their liner notes too much.

For the better part of the last decade, writers and musicians across the internet have occasionally popped up to kvetch about the “death of liner notes.” The Chronicle of Higher Education wondered, “Are Liner Notes Dead?” way back in 2008, promising a brave new world in which iTunes would package digital liner notes with album downloads. Six years later, iTunes has followed through on that promise, sort of, by making liner notes available but forcing users to open them in a different app. A few exasperated customers take to the forums for advice on how to store and access these digital liner notes, but most of us simply enjoy our music without them.