British artist Tom Vek found it deeply sad that album art in the digital age no longer plays a role of – literally – format. And so the Sleevenote came into being.
The Sleevenote is a hi-res music player with a ‘retina’ screen (more about that later) the size of a CD booklet. In other words: it allows you to view album art in full size again. Although the step from LP to CD cover was already a massive drop in ‘experience’. The switch to streaming and digital media players became a complete drama. After all, you’ll only see an image the size of an enlarged stamp on it.
Tom Vek thought it was such a pity that he has been designing a music player on which album art can be shown in full size. After years of development, you can check his cration. An Indiegogo campaign for the Sleevenote has been launched to which anyone who is interested can subscribe. Eventually an amount of £497,734 British Pounds has to be raised, from that moment on the Sleevenote is actually viable.
The razor-sharp square display should show album art in print quality. The fact that the term ‘retina’ is used for the Sleevenote is remarkable, as it is more or less Apple’s own brand term. So we’ll have to wait and see if it can continue to be used in this way. However, the Sleevenote can be used with the streaming service Apple Music and Spotify, or as a stand-alone music player for your WAV and FLAC files, among others.
A Cirrus HQ DAC and Wolfson Class W headphone amplifier should provide hi-res playback. The built-in 256 GB storage allows you to store a lot of music, while Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also available. And – in the year 2021 quite remarkable – a 3.5 mm headphone jack has been considered.
The price of the device – given the amount to be collected – is £533. Not exactly the bargain of the day, but on the other hand you easily pay the same or more for a better high-end portable player. Hopefully the sound quality will actually turn out to be high-end and not all attention has been paid to the screen. By the way: there is already the free app Sleevenote that shows life-size cover art on your iPad! From the same man as behind the intended physical device.