It's no surprise to those that know me that I'm a voracious music fan. I love many kinds of music, ranging from blues to opera, hard rock to classical and just about everything in between. As such I've been a long-time fan  of Nine inch Nails, a love no doubt held over from my angst-ridden younger years spent thrashing about in mosh-pits and rolling D20s. It's been interesting over the years to watch, as a fan of both music and the interweb, as NiN and specifically Mr. Reznor have taken an active role in Digital Distribution and furthering that cause.

Whether they've been distributing albums via Torrents in multiple digital formats or talking about the importance of the spread of data and open-ended file sharing, they've definitely been vocal about their beliefs, and really put their money where their mouth is. It's great to see someone with that kind of earning potential releasing their albums for free on the web, knowing the true hardcore fans will support the album in its money-making formats for the bonus tracks, art, and extras the band is smart enough to be offering there.

Their newest album, which I am currently listening to after downloading, is no exception. I read over at torrentfreak by way of digg about the album release and where to get it. I wasted no time in snagging it off of their speedy download site (NiN has an entire sub-site dedicated to downloads - slick!) and am currently enjoying the thumping bass and driving kicks this disc has to offer.

What makes this interesting past just a good album to download is that this is not a singular occurrence. Many bands are doing very similar things. They're putting their music out there for free to get it to the people that want to hear it, and trusting that they'll be taken care of in the long run. Guess what - it's working. It's not limited to music, either. Film companies, TV stations, hardware manufacturers - they're all pushing towards digital distribution of content, be it film, TV, Books, music ... whatever.

Apple's recent deal with Fox, Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal Studios and Sony Pictures goes to show that there are many big players in different markets all trying to get on the bandwagon for digital content distribution. You know, because iTunes didn't already depict Apple's understanding of the importance of that movement...right.

What does this mean for you and me? Well, it means more choices. It means more decisions. It means more ways to get at the stuff you really want to get to.  From a professional perspective, it means more network traffic, more improvements needed in streaming protocols, increased need for intelligent management of content traffic as well as application logic. It means all sorts of fun things, and we're just getting started. It's nice to be here, now.