Those old enough to remember vinyl records know how important the album cover used to be. Album covers could become iconic, an important part of the listening experience. 12.375 inches by 12.375 inches presented a lot of real estate to pack a punch.
Cassettes temporarily dulled the album cover because the size was so much smaller but I remember album covers mattering again when I started building up my CD collection in the late 80s and early 90s. You knew your music by these covers. Cover art was important.
About five years ago I decided to box up my CDs and go completely digital with my music collection. This transition, which I wrote about extensively in these entries, killed the album cover for me. Songs become intangible bits and bytes, audio that was transferred from one medium to another. The album cover art didn't come into play... at least not the way I organized my music.
Now, thanks to my new iPod Touch, the album cover has made a complete comeback in my life. A couple of years ago I sensed this day was coming and I started to embed album cover art into the .mp3's metadata. Now, when I sync my music to my iPod Touch, I can browse by album covers with a flick of my finger. This is fantastic... I browse and browse, coming face to face with album covers I thought I may never see again. Welcome back, Spencer Elden.