I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting this. I guess I’m naive.
Part of it is because for a while Radiohead has taken the stance against track by track downloads. They want their music to be heard as a whole album.
But today In Rainbows is available in iTunes Plus, track by track, with a digital booklet. And for the past few months every Radiohead album has been available through Amazon’s MP3 store.
I will probably get the physical album – but with comments like this on Amazon I wonder why even bother putting a physical disc out if you can’t do it right:
The disc comes in a cardboard foldout with two stickers included so you can “do it yourself” and make a normal CD, if you have a spare jewel case lying around. Once assembled, if you do it correctly, it looks cheap and crappy.
The move to sell In Rainbows on CD, iTunes and on Amazon also drives Trent Reznor’s peeve about the whole thing:
…I felt a little funny after X amount of people have signed up to pay for a download to then find out the day before or the day you’re going to get it, oh it’s a 160K MP3, which is MySpace streaming quality, which is not good. And what if you just paid $20 for that because you want to support your favorite band, and find out oh I just paid for something that sucks? And then hearing some inane idiotic comments from their managers saying, “Well, the real way to hear Radiohead is on a CD.” Oh, so this is all just a bait and switch to get us to buy something that we thought was the real product that wasn’t after we paid for it. And then to get us to rebuy it as a CD because it has extra tracks because you want to make sure you have your brick and mortar traditional record deal in place feels — that feels like I’ve been had, as a fan.