I love what Radiohead is doing with their name-your-own-price, flip-off-the-record-industry, new DRMless digital album. It (sort of) went live this morning at www.inrainbows.com. I firmly endorse their DIY stance on the sales, distribution and marketing of this album - and when it's all said and done I think it is going to make them a fortune. Even if you only pay a couple of bucks for it, virtually *all* of that couple bucks goes in their pocket. That's roughly equivalent to all they would see on the sale of a $15 CD released and distributed by a major label. So, worst case they basically get what they would have gotten... best case they get about 10x what they would have gotten in their old deal. Granted, these numbers are very rough (someone from the label side of the business can better model this for sure), but you get the picture.
The problem? It appears their DIY stance is crippling them technically speaking. I've been on the site for the last 20 minutes trying to buy the album. You can practically see smoke coming off of the site as it tries to handle the load. I don't know who built/is running the "store" part of the site but I can only imagine a couple of guys running around with their hair on fire with scotch tape and bubble gum trying to piece Humpty Dumpty back together again.
* Pages are taking minutes to load
* Ugh... prices are only in british pounds. Time to do some conversion... off to another site.
* I just had to enter my price 3 times before it would "stick" (for what it's worth I'm paying 2 Pounds plus the 45 pence service fee, or roughly $5)
* Ugh, now I have to register... more pages to load
* OK, got it... it's a zip file
* Extracted and imported into iTunes
* 160kpbs MP3? Really, that's it?! Amazon is giving us 256kbps. Incomplete metadata (track 1 of ___), no album art.
It is sounding pretty good. But all in all I would have preferred to a storefront in Amazon.
UPDATE: Apparently most people aren't having as many issues as I had. In fact, check out today's playcounts by the MyStrands community.