If you've been wondering where forward-looking musician Trent Reznor would be taking his music after the success of Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts I-IV, you're going to enjoy this: he's releasing another album for digital download, and this one is totally free.

The Slip, the latest Nine Inch Nails album to get the digital release treatment, is available in a range of formats including the lossy MP3 and M4A alongside lossless FLAC and uncompressed studio-quality 24/96 PCM – each one of which is completely free from restrictive digital rights management. All you need to download the album in a format of your choice is an e-mail address.

Interestingly, Reznor has opted to provide the higher-quality – and therefore larger file size – versions via the BitTorrent protocol, which should go some way to prevent the bandwidth issues the caused by the massive popularity of the Ghosts I-IV release.

The release goes beyond merely free as in beer, too: the album is being provided under the attribution noncommercial sharealike Creative Commons license. What this means for fans of Reznor's music is that the album can be shared on your favourite file sharing sites, uploaded to your personal website, or even remixed into new tracks – so long as you attribute Nine Inch Nails in the finished article.

With the success of Reznor's digital release of Ghosts I-IV, which it is estimated netted the musician over $1.6 million in sales, it's clear that Nine Inch Nails isn't finished playing with digital distribution outside the auspices of the music 'industry'. Reznor describes this latest release as “a thank you to our fans.” As with prior digital releases, the download comes complete with a PDF copy of the liner notes.

If you want to ensure that Nine Inch Nails gets the money they deserve, don't fret: although the album is currently only available digitally, a physical release is planned for July on both CD and vinyl.

Does this cement Reznor's reputation as the saviour of modern music, or is he just trying to drum up interest in his next album in the same way he accused Radiohead of doing? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04