Let's face it, folks -- the CD insert is no longer "the new hotness." And besides, those wacky PDFs included with iTunes album purchases never did much more than take up valuable hard drive space anyway, right?. In an effort to get consumers to stop buying single tracks and start buying more filler entire albums, Apple has reportedly joined forces with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group in a project that's being codenamed "Cocktail." Financial Times is reporting that said initiative is considering adding "interactive booklets, sleeve notes and other interactive features with music downloads," with one executive familiar with the situation saying that "it's not just a bunch of PDFs; there's real engagement with the ancillary stuff." Of course, all of this should still be taken with a pinch of salt for now, as even the music companies mentioned above refused to comment. And given the tremendous indifference consumers have shown with that other interactive tech that's being pushed so hard right now, we're not even sure it'll have the desired effect.

In related news, another sect of folks "briefed on the project" have stated that these new content deals could be launched alongside a new, full-featured "tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season, in what the entertainment industry hopes will be a new revolution." Adding fuel to the already raging fire, the report asserts that the "touch-sensitive device... will have a screen that may be up to ten inches diagonally," and while it will "connect to the internet like the iPod touch, it'll probably [do so] without phone capabilities." You do know that Apple has been good for a music / iPod-related event right around September the past few years, right?

[Via AppleInsider]

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Apple, record labels working to spur album sales with interactive goodies, tablet due this September?