As a thank you to their fans for their continued support, NIN is giving away the new nine inch nails album free at nin.com. The music is available in several formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. Even better, the music is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license, allowing anyone to remix or share it for non-commercial use.
I downloaded the MP3 version. While I’m not really a NIN fan, Trent Reznor has earned my highest respect. He may be the only musician who truly understands online music distribution methods. For that reason, I will support all of his efforts.
Trent’s success is important for the entire music industry. By proving that an artist can continue to make music and profit from it without the benefit of a label will only hasten the overdue demise of the big labels. Today’s music labels are nothing more than parasites who claim to support musicians while paying them only a minimal amount as the companies themselves make a huge profit.
With online distribution there’s very little need for physical media. Even an individual artist can set up a web site and distribute his music just as effectively as any platinum-selling band.