In light of recent announcements, we can definitively tell two things about modern music consumers: They don't like to buy physical copies (when they buy albums at all), but they do like novelty. San Francisco-based electronica artist Moldover has concocted a rather innovative means of maybe, just maybe, coaxing people into buying a physical copy of his latest album. His CD case contains custom circuit boards that spell out the track listing and compose the album art, and the thing functions, more or less, as a light sensor-controlled theremin--though conventional theremins are of course controlled by radio frequencies rather than light. There's more:
The CD case theremin features a headphone jack as well as a speaker, and the wiring on the theremin itself spells out the artist name, track names, and "album art," such as it is. He even includes a tiny pocket-sized version of the theremin so you're never without that odd organic screechy sound. The album costs $50, which actually seems pretty cheap considering it's packaged inside a musical instrument.
Moldover's clearly displaying some keen ingenuity, and he's doing something that, as far as I know, has never been done before. Originality points. But then, of course, there are the drawbacks: $50 might seem cheap for both an album and an adorably petite little future instrument--that will apparently help you meet new friends on the subway--but you're still paying $50 for the debut CD from an IDM artist. C'mon.