Thursday, March 12, 2009

The World's Greatest LP Album Covers

Organized in a fashion akin to a blog, the World's Greatest LP Album Covers archive casually dismisses usability, possibly infringes on copyrights, and provides me with a great amount of entertainment. The site welcomes visitors to the "weird and wonderful world of record covers from the golden age of lps." They also sell shirts. The scans of lp covers are presented in disappointingly low res jpeg form and are not enlargeable. An item is typically accompanied by some metadata, such as the name of the muscian, cover artist, record company, and year of release. Some of the albums have song listings, but the entry of metadata is frustratingly inconsistent. The metadata is simply posted under the digital image. Judging from its granularity, the metadata and images themselves are likely to satisfy hobbyists and visitors seeking amusement. The artifacts are not presented in such a fashion as to render them useful to scholarly pursuits. Rather, this is an example of an image store used primarily for entertainment. The album covers are presented primarily as campy novelty items.

There is a search function, but it does not allow for any type of searching of metadata beyond hitting a word. Visitors are able to view the collection in two ways: by looking at what was added during a particular month or by selecting one of such categories as fitness, guns, golden throats, or superheroes. The site is actively maintained but could seriously benefit from some quality curation. There is some great material here, and I would like to know more about the images in their appropriate context. I think this is a good example of a promising collection presented in an unsatisfactory fashion.

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