With discussions about green packaging and the perceived value of the CD rampant, now is clearly the time to get rid of the land-filling piece of crap known as the jewel box. How the jewel box came to be perceived by the labels as high-end packaging has always been beyond me, and recycled paperboard CD packaging has never sounded like a better option. Failing that, an Amaray (DVD)-size case with a larger CD booklet would fit the bill.

Of course, with a power player like Universal Music Group Distribution president Jim Urie pulling for the jewel box to be simply rebuilt with ecologically sound material, my vote may not count for much.

But if the U.S. music industry is changing its packaging to go green, I want to introduce some related issues. We can't forget that this whole green dialogue is taking place against a backdrop of rising digital sales and declining CD sales. But many of us believe a demand for physical product will coexist alongside digital in the coming years regardless. So as we look at packaging, we should also discuss its role in the value equation, and what role that packaged good will have five years from now.

Before I present my case for where packaging should go, let's examine why CD packaging was a mistake from the get-go.

Click here to read Ed Christman's analysis of CD packaging.