Cristal, the makers of the incredibly popular CD jewel case have patented a breakthrough that threatens to revolutionise the music industry.
In recent years, CD sales have been declining as wary music buyers switch to downloaded MP3 and iTunes music. After extensive market research, Cristal have discovered that one of the main reasons given by consumers is that many people know the songs they like, but cannot recognise them by name. With MP3 downloads, they can listen to a 'snippet' first, to make sure it is the song that they want.
For this reason, Cristal have come up with Scratch and Listen(TM) CD Jewel Cases.
On the back of the CD jewel case the track listings are written onto a piezoelectric strip. Piezoelectric materials generate electricity when pressure is applied to them. Although the amount generated is small, there is enough power to produce a short burst of music from an inbuilt miniature MP3 player, secreted in the body of the jewel case.
Running a finger along the track generates a small sample of the music that the consumer can listen to ahead of buying the full album.
"It's a great breakthrough," said Herman Cristal, CEO of Cristal Jewel Case limited. "We foresee great things for this technology."
Frank Le Medeer, manager of the Telford branch of HMV where Cristal tested out the new device, is equally enthusiastic. "Album sales have shot up," he said.
Other companies are keen to make use of the new device, with singing cornflake packets and musical bus stop advertising. Though health experts warn that it sounds like a recipe for passing on a multitude of diseases.
To listen to this news article via Scratch and Listen(TM), please run your finger along this red text.