By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 11, 2009

Curious about iTunes LPs? For the price of some dreadful music, you can get one free.

It’s hard to imagine Steve Jobs choosing the tracks that appear on the “Holiday Sampler” Apple (AAPL) released this week, just in time for Christmas.

Barry Manilow singing “Jingle Bells”? “The Twelve Days of Christmas” done as an instrumental by the Mexicani Marimba Band?

This is the kind of music that makes you want to turn off the radio for the month of December.

If Apple really wanted to get people to check out iTunes LP — a bonus-filled format that hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm — they would have done better to give away one of the good ones. For example, The Doors or the Dave Matthews Band albums that Apple demoed for the press last September.

This LP doesn’t do the format, or the listener, any favors. Stephen Colbert, who may be the freshest thing on the album, has it right:

Get ready Brother for another Christmas song
They play for a month, Ad infinitum
One day it struck me someone must write ’em
So, it’s another Christmas song

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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