Imagine this, if you will.
The new Arctic Monkeys album is released after months of excitement. The music press has been banging on about how brilliant it is and how it would be ridiculous not to get it now that it's finally released.
People queue for hours to get hold of a copy because they want to be the first person to listen to it.
The shop opens and there it is!! The new Arctic Monkeys album...
But hang on a minute, it's not in a usual CD case... no, it's in this slightly thicker plastic case and the box is a bit bigger too. And hang on a minute, it's double the price of a normal CD.
You pick up your copy and you take it up to the person working in the shop.
'Excuse me, but i'm a bit confused', you say, 'I want to buy this, but it's really expensive. Where are the normal CDs?'
'This is all there is' says the person in the shop.
'Is the quality of the album any better?' you ask.
'Not at all. The recording is exactly the same as you'd expect on a normal CD, but the record company decided that they'd put it in a slightly bigger protective box, and sell it to you for twice the amount.'
'but that's crazy' you say. 'why would I want to pay double for something that is pretty much exactly like a normal CD, but it's packaging is sturdier. I don't care about the packaging, I just want to listen to the album'
'Well' says the person in the shop 'the record company will be bringing out a normal packaged CD in about 9-12 months time. All the big record companies are going to start doing this from now on'
'but this is really unfair' you say. 'it just means that normal people who love music can't afford to buy stuff when it gets released. No one will put up with it. It's just a great big con.'
'well' says the person in the record shop 'it seems to work for books'