Radiohead Breaks Through Last Digital Music Barriers
The digital music revolution may just be complete. With one of the world's most commercially and critically successful bands releasing their new album exclusively in digital form from their website, even the most strident High Fidelity-style music snob has to go digital. Radiohead's newest masterpiece, "In Rainbows," is exclusive to www.inrainbows.com until December, when a box set containing the album and accompanying artwork can be purchased for £40/$81. Still, digital form will still be the sole way to get the album without the rest of the box set extras included, and the only way to get the album without spending a fortune. In fact, you can pay whatever amount you feel you should on the site - a name your own price incentive to go digital. By pushing the envelope on digital music, Radiohead has traded the production of piles of CDs, cases and plastic packaging for 1s and 0s. Although this may have not been their ultimate motivation for doing so, the band's previous eco-conscious statements lead us to believe that the smaller footprint of the download program may have at least played a role in the decision. Intentional or not, having such an influential artist going CD-free at launch could be the start of the end for the overpackaged compact disc.