Sleevenote is a high-res music player that puts album art front and center

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,502   +132
Staff member
Editor's take: Music used to have the ability to touch multiple senses simultaneously. In the days of vinyl, cassettes and CDs, there was something special about flipping through the accompanying album artwork or simply glossing over the track listing. And if you could get the material signed by the artist, well that was just next-level awesome.

For all of the benefits that streaming and digital music in general delivers (namely the near instantaneous access to a colossal catalog of music at a reasonable cost), one of the biggest strikes against digital is that you don’t get any tangible material with your subscription fee or purchase.

Digital album art exists, mind you, but most devices don't prioritize it. On your smartphone, for example, music is often played in the background while you are doing other tasks like browsing the web. The same happens on the computer.

Sleevenote is attempting to replicate that old experience in the digital era.

The brainchild of recording artist and graphic designer Tom Vek, Sleevenote is a digital music player that is bigger than a CD. It’ll feature a 7.5-inch 1:1 retina touch screen, a Cirrus HQ Digital Audio Converter (DAC) supporting up to 24bit/96k hi-res audio, a Wolfson ‘Class-W’ headphone amplifier and 250GB of onboard storage. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth come standard, as do the dedicated music control buttons and “all-day” battery life.

The main attraction, however, is no doubt the display. With it, Vek hopes to once again make listening to music a more visual experience by displaying album artwork and accompany material on the screen.

Sleevenote is seeking funding on Indiegogo. A pledge of around $700 is needed to get your name on the October 2021 estimated shipping docket.

Masthead credit: Asia Images Group

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Posts: 838   +664
TechSpot Elite
I'm kinda intrigued but that price point is just horrendous. I wouldn't carry a smartphone around that can basically do that, and then pay the same for a device that ONLY does that, even if it is high quality audio and large storage.


Posts: 483   +785
Even when portable CD players were starting to be a thing, you didn't slap in a CD and walk around staring at the jewel case. If I was at home I'd be playing CDs in my room stereo system, not on my discman. That's when I would be looking at CD artwork and inserts if I wanted to see what the lyrics for a song was.

If I wanted that nostalgic feeling I'd go out and buy a portable CD player.....surprisingly they are still manufactured and sold and they only cost around $25 (depending on model and location you purchase one from).

Then I would just dump a bunch of MP3 files on a CD and listen to my heart's content. I'd rather go this route and save $675 if I needed that physical, hands on feeling. Otherwise, I'd just do what others have already suggested; use my phone.


Posts: 1,915   +1,115
Love the concept, hate the price. It also seems to be a little too bulky to really be considered 'portable'. It would probably be better to re-tool it to be a fixed-in-place 'juke box' - which gives me an idea for a Raspberry Pi project.


Posts: 443   +366
Just buy a Cowon player for under the $500 price point they are probably the best sounding DAP you can buy in that pricepoint.
Also people saying well my phone does that.....well you apparently like garbo audio then, because even $1000 dollar phones and higher have shitty dacs and amps built in.


Posts: 17,379   +6,130
Sleevenote is seeking funding on . A pledge of around $700 is needed to get your name on the October 2021 estimated shipping
So, I can't even be stupid enough to buy one of these pieces of garbage over the counter for that outrageous price? I have to put the money up front and wait a year?

That's a resounding " You".!