10601 – Ahhhh!!! I can’t stop numbering them!!!

Were Radiohead fans duped by the download?
At the end of Radiohead’s pay-what-you-like download album In Rainbows, will you find pots of gold or fool’s gold? That depends on where you stand on the debate.
Fans who downloaded the label-bypassing seventh studio album by the British stars quickly learned that there were a few caveats to the donation-based download. First, the sound quality is not necessarily optimum, encoded at a bit rate of 160 kbps (kilobits per second), lower than Radiohead’s earlier albums (though higher than a standard iTunes track download).
In an interview last week with British trade magazine Music Week, Radiohead’s longtime managers, Chris Hufford and Bryce Edge, acknowledged that the download offer was a piece of a larger puzzle to generate more publicity for the CD release. “If we didn’t believe that when people hear the music they will want to buy the CD, then we wouldn’t do what we are doing,” Edge said.
Now fans who anted up a reasonable sum for an album they could have gotten free will have to buy the album again come January if they want the improved sound.
“They never said that downloading the album would be the only way to purchase it,” says Nate Wilholt, 21, of Grand Rapids, Mich., who spent $2 for the download. “I pretty much figured there would be an eventual traditional release Ö I would hope fans knew what they were getting into.”
Some fans criticized the band’s failure to disclose the downloadable version’s quality and the release date of the CD. “I would’ve appreciated knowing the bit rate,” says David Sandell, 27, a Chicago fan who spent $6.50 for the download. “But if I knew the MP3 would be low audio quality, I would have paid less.”
Others lauded the band’s pioneering effort to get the music to their fans quickly. “I think this band is doing the right thing and cutting out the middleman, and they should be rewarded,” says Susan Alvare, 30, of Dallas. She plans to buy the download for $15.
Other fans don’t miss the difference in sound quality. “I didn’t notice that the sound quality is subpar and don’t know if I will notice upon my next listen,” says Nadia Tuma, 25, of New York. “I’m here for the art and can still appreciate the music for what is it, regardless of minute differences in sound production.” She donated $20 for the download.
But Roger Wade, 42, of Portland, Ore., who has not ordered the download, is still unhappy with the band on both counts. “This honor-system gimmick has turned out to be sloppy at best and dishonest and devious at worst. It’s common knowledge that 192 kbps is the accepted minimum bit rate among nearly everyone who even knows what a bit rate is.
“And then word that this honor-system release might just be a promotional tool for a longer and higher-quality release in the future is a real kick in the teeth to their hard-core fans who wanted to reward the band for this unique approach to distributing their new material. If I’d offered to pay $10 or more for the download, I would feel like a real sucker at this point.”
More fan reaction:
ïBryan Ward, 38, of Westmont, Ill., spent $2. “I plan to buy the box set and the actual CD, but I don’t have the money right now. Now I feel guilty that I paid too little.”
ïJacob David Sawyer, 27, of Manchester, N.H., donated not a cent. “I’m planning on buying the CD when it comes out, anyway. Why pay for it twice?”
ïJami Sams, 26, of Corona, Calif., spent $7. “I really like the album; in hindsight, I think I should have paid more.”
ïMichael Gallaugher, 33, of Columbus, Ohio, spent $10 “because it’s what it would have cost on iTunes. It just would have been nice to know what the options were going to be beforehand.”