The brand-new Radiohead album In Rainbows was released for download today. After wading through a very slow page load and online transaction (due to the heavy traffic, no doubt) I was able to download the entire album (that part was quick) as mp3 files. It’s mine. I own it. No DRM to rain on my parade.
Of course, the really newsworthy part of all of this is that I got to set my own price. Zero dollars. Ten dollars. One hundred dollars. Well pounds and pence technically. But, the point is that I got to decide the value of this music for myself. That and the fact that the band actually gets to keep the money I paid for their album since they’re not paying a label for distribution and promotion. Total paradigm shift. Very exciting stuff. Oh, and the album is excellent as well. Name your price and pull down your very own copy here.
Like music videos? AOL recently released their “Top 100 Videos” beta into the ever-growing pool of AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) apps that are hitting the scene these days. Early adopters love stuff like this.
It runs on both OS X and Windows and really showcases the capabilities of the new generation of desktop widgets. The design and usability is far better than I would have expected from a company like AOL. This sort of thing has the potential to boost AOLMusic’s credibility enough to make it an actual competitor with the likes of iTunes… maybe. Here’s what they have to say over at Adobe Labs and here’s the actual download site.