Monday, March 10, 2008

Buying Ghosts

I know, I know, another music post. Right now, though, there isn't too much all that interesting for me to talk about on my mind other than music since work has been overwhelming and I don't have the energy to muster in trying to dig for topics to think and write about. So I resort to music since I listen to it for probably 8 hours a day.

Now if you haven't heard, Trent Reznor decided to pull a Radiohead and release his latest work, Ghosts, online distributed either via a paid download (or free download for part of the album) or ordering it directly from his website. I'm not a fan of Radiohead so I didn't get in on that whole thingermajob, but I'm a huge Nine Inch Nails fan so I jumped on the chance to get in on Ghosts.

I've only now digested completely the entire four part instrumental album and love it very thoroughly. I know some people are going to say it's a bunch of half-assed ideas thrown together in the shape of an album, but I like the minimalistic and, at times, ambient approach Reznor took with this album.

That and I love the value you get for the money invested. For $5 you can download the entire thing in whatever format you like. For $10 (plus $6.99 shipping - lame) you get to download the album plus you get the four part album on disc, which is great for those of us who still like to have physical CDs. And I feel like I'm getting my money's worth knowing I get the full download and a double disc length album and full artwork and I don't have to give any of that money to the middlemen, RIAA, or labels.

I really think that this is (or should be) the future of album distribution. I'm waiting for a label or distribution company to come up with some type of "disc on demand" system for artists where actual physical albums can be created as they are ordered by fans. No need to have set print runs or labels needing to fund a band's album -- the bands themselves would be in control and the fans would make them popular, not some cartel of label execs who are pushing who they want to be the next big thing onto the radio and other media outlets.

Let artists succeed (or fail) on their own merits and ingenuity. People shouldn't have to have the music they listen to forced upon them. It's so much more satisfying to find good music and to share it.

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