What Is a Digital Booklet on iTunes?

By Susan Sivek

The iTunes Store offers a "digital booklet" with the purchase of many complete albums. The booklet provides a PDF version of the paper booklet insert you would receive if you bought the album as a CD. These booklets are listed with your Purchased music. New versions of the digital booklet are also taking shape with the release of interactive applications for the iPod Touch and iPhone.

Digital Booklets

Apple offers iTunes Store customers the chance to download a "digital booklet" with the purchase of some complete albums and other media through the store. For people who missed getting a paper booklet with lyrics, photos, etc., with the purchase of a CD, the digital booklet is meant to fill that need. The first album to be available with a digital booklet was "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" by the band U2.

PDF Files

Most digital booklets from iTunes are available in PDF format. They can be accessed from your Purchased media list in iTunes. Double-clicking the booklet will activate your default PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader on a PC or Preview on a Mac, and open the file. The iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone open the booklets in the free iBooks app if you have it installed. You will then be able to view the contents of the booklet on your computer and even print it if desired. Your digital booklets will not sync to your iPod through iTunes.

Interactive Booklets

The typical digital booklet behaves like any other PDF formatted for printing. However, some artists are now offering interactive booklets with their albums. These interactive booklets can be accessed by iTunes Store customers who have iTunes 11 installed on their computers.


Most digital booklets include the same basic facts found in the typical CD insert, such as song lyrics, photos, recording details, acknowledgments and other information from the artist. Interactive booklets may include video and links to websites. Some interactive booklets are available as separate applications on the iPod Touch and iPhone. The band Snow Patrol was the first to participate in this new feature.

Limitations on Some iPods

Unless your iPod can open PDF files, like the iPod Touch, you won't be able to view digital booklets in their entirety. However, you can access them on your computer using iTunes. If your iPod has a Notes feature, you can use this to read the text in the booklet. So song lyrics, if nothing else, should be accessible.