An album (from Latin albus "white", "blank", relating to a blank book in which something can be inserted) is a packaged collection of related things. The most common types of albums are record albums and photo albums.

Photo albums collect a series of photographs in a book. Some albums have compartments which the photos may be slipped in to; older style albums often were simply books of heavy paper which photos could be glued to or attached to with adhesive corners.

The term record album originally referred to a collection of 78 RPM gramophone or phonograph disc records kept together in a book resembling a photo album. Later "album" came to refer to a single long playing 33⅓ RPM 12 inch record of songs or music, as one disc contained as much music as an old-style album of records. The standard industry format for popular music was for an album of 12 songs, originally the number related to payment of composer royalties. Now that the vinyl record is less common, the term is applied to any hard-pressed full length sound recording (including CD, Minidisc, and cassette). Even a set of tracks released at the same time for distribution on an online music download site is sometimes referred to as an album.

Now that albums are on CD and new media, the matter of how long an album should be is open to debate. One author suggested at least eight tracks, but there are albums of fewer tracks. According to the rules of the British Charts, a recording counts as an album if either it has at least four tracks or lasts more than 20 minutes. Sometimes shorter albums are referred to as EPs, an abbreviation of extended play.

Returning to the older meaning of the term, there are now albums of compact discs; collections of CDs in a single package. If such a collection is packaged in a box, it is known as a box set.

An anthology-format comic book with multiple stories that is published and distributed as a book rather than a periodical is sometimes referred to as a graphic album, similarly to the usage of graphic novel for similar-format works that tell a single story.

In Europe, a comic album is the equivalent to a graphic novel, being of A4 size and hardcover, typically with 48 pages. They contain either new stories or collections of previously serialised strips.

See also: list of albumsda:Album de:Album fr:Album (musique) ja:アルバム lt:Albumas nl:Album no:Album fi:Albumi pt:lbum


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