View Full Version : Radiohead Releases Album as .wav Download

E. Shaun
February 14th, 2011, 02:18 PM
They may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Radiohead just made a rather unexpected announcement that their new album, The King Of Limbs (http://www.kingoflimbs.com/), will be released in both .mp3 and .wav format. The .wav format costs $5 USD more, but as far as I know, this is the first time that a well-known band is giving this option.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I see this as a very positive step for the digital downloading trend. I mean, there are many reasons why I still stick with CDs, but one of the biggest ones is audio quality. For me, at least, this option could be a game changer...

February 14th, 2011, 03:39 PM
I'm still fascinated to see how digital distribution works out for music. It seems like in part you're paying for the actual point of distribution- in other words it's not just the file, it's having a place to go where you can conveniently find and get this file and make a purchase like you would for anything else.

It's all about having that be the most obvious, most righteous option, since it's so impossible to block all possible security holes for having data get around. It's about having an ordinary transaction between listener and musician be the RIGHT thing but also by far the easiest thing. I'm really curious if this works out for them, and at what level.

February 14th, 2011, 03:41 PM
Do you know if they're planning to release hard copies at all?

February 14th, 2011, 04:12 PM
Will it be released in higher resolution than 16 bit/44.1 khz? Now that would be cool.

FLAC could even be a better option than .wav, they'd save bandwidth, and would be able to add metadata tags (track #, album/artist/track name, replaygain, etc).

February 14th, 2011, 04:43 PM
WAV will take some metadata IME, at least in iTunes. I guess they've gone with it because it's more compatible than FLAC, mainly because iPods don't support FLAC.

NIN had one of his available as FLAC and Apple Lossless up to 24/ 96kHz. I guess Radiohead are more mainstream?

E. Shaun
February 14th, 2011, 04:54 PM
It looks like there will be a hard copy released in May.

I think .wav is probably the most ubiquitous format, and while I agree that there are other better formats, I'm glad to see that there's a .wav option at all. When In Rainbows came out, it was only released in .mp3 format a few months prior to its CD release. And unless I'm mistaken, I think most bands that do digital releases still do them exclusively in .mp3 format.

February 14th, 2011, 10:50 PM
The Discipline Global Mobile label has been selling digital downloads as either MP3 or FLAC for quite a few years now.


E. Shaun
February 14th, 2011, 11:02 PM
The Discipline Global Mobile label has been selling digital downloads as either MP3 or FLAC for quite a few years now.


Sure, but with all due respect to Fripp and co., Radiohead are on a different level of notability and popularity. Don't get me wrong -- I own at least a dozen albums released by DGM -- but when Radiohead does it, there's more likelihood of a paradigm shift.

Burn em
February 15th, 2011, 09:49 AM
Will have my credit card out on the 19th... Will report back then. It's about time bands started doing this already! About time