I applaud you, Radiohead, for doing such a forward-thinking experiment with your distribution for InRainbows. However, you’ve unfortunately made sure that any data you receive from this experiment will be useless. Why? Well, because your website and ordering process are HORRIBLE. I had so many problems getting your website to work that I almost gave up. I’m now concerned that I paid for it at all. I’m scared for the safety of my personal data. Really, it is 2007, get a web designer who knows what they are doing.
Secondly, you also seem to have gone out of your way to make sure that the downloaded tracks themselves are sub-standard. I’d heard that the mp3s you are distributing were at 128 kBps, which would have been ridiculous. I see now that they are at 160 kBps which is just lame. How about 192 kBps or higher? I would have gladly paid $10 for this record at a higher bitrate. Given the bitrate you are distributing it at, I decided only to pay $5. Also, where is the cover art? How about tossing a jpg into the zip file with the album cover? Maybe a text file with some liner notes. Just because you aren’t shipping shiny plastic discs around, it doesn’t mean that all previous ideas with the album were bad.
Hey, here’s an idea. Give the album away for free at 128 kBps, charge a nominal fee ($5-$10) for a 200 kBps or higher bitrate.
How about an optional survey section at the end so that I could have told you this instead of posting it on my blog?
So Trent, and other artists considering following in Radiohead’s footsteps (although they weren’t the first to do this honestly), try downloading the tracks yourself and see how much easier it would be to do something much better for your listeners.
I may just do this with the next Intonarumori album…