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Suddenly Everything Has Changed

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Ahh how glorious the post-In Rainbows world is. Albums being released for free, people downloading them without being prosecuted--all is tranquil. Trent Reznor has announced that his forthcoming project with spoken word artist Saul Williams, The Inevitable Rise and Fall of Niggy Tardust, will be released in Radiohead fashion. However, as Trent explains, the only real difference is that Saul needs your support:

"There are obvious similarities in how Radiohead just released their new record and the way we've chosen to. After thinking about this way too much, I feel we've improved upon their idea in a few profound ways that benefit you, the consumer. You obviously will be the judge of this in the end. One thing that IS very different in our situation is that Saul's not the household name (yet!) that Radiohead is, and that means we need your support on this more than ever. If you like what you hear, spread the word."

Fans have the choice between buying the album for free or spending five dollars to "directly support the artist in the creation of this music." Essentially, the former makes you a jerk and the latter makes you a respectable human being. It is important to note that the fine print delineates a selection in quality for people who purchase the album. Those who shell out the measly five dollars get the choice between a cozy lossless or 320kbps rip over the free 192 kbps standard. All files will be DRM-free and encoded with love. Pre-orders have begun and The Inevitable Rise and Fall of Niggy Tardust hits computers via Nov. 1st. Way to stick it to the man!

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A few questions: Do you think that this move to make higher quality rips available for money will inspire others to do so? Is this sort of thing going to continue making headlines or are we going to get used to free albums already? What's with this album title? Why must the kitten wear an eye-patch?