Radiohead – In Rainbows – download quality

So, as some of you might have heard, Radiohead have given their record label the heave-ho (as of their last album) and have opted to release their new album in a slightly different way than you might normally expect for a huge band.

You can, for the time being, only get their new album in 2 ways.

  1. Go to and order a download version
  2. Go to and order a box set with lots of stuff (and the download at the same time)

Uniquely they've opted to let you choose how much to pay them for the download. I thought this was pretty cool, but was a bit annoyed that they gave no information about what quality and format the download would take. So, assuming the worst might happen (and even though I could order the download free if I wanted), I said feck it, I'll get the box set. £40 later and I've gotten an email stating the following regarding In Rainbows download quality..

The album will come as a 48.4mb zip file containing 10 x 160kbps DRM free mp3s.

So that's it people.. 160kbps mp3's. I'm glad to hear they are DRM free, but not so happy about the 160kbps. I know myself well enough to know I won't really be satisfied with that, seeing as 192kbps bugs me sometimes.

However, I know I'll get the full package in the post at some point in about 2 months, so I'll probably be pretty happy with that.

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  • Brills! I'm holding out for the box set-since $81 is a bit out of my budget right now, but I did order my download today. I have to find the article, but quite a few other bands are thinking of going this route now. I think it's a pretty good idea.

  • 160 MP3? a 160 AAC wouldn't be too bad, but I'm not ordering that, even for 1p. How about a Flac/Apple Lossless? Methinks the best bet would be, if you were going for the download option over the physical, is to buy the download from Radiohead, then wait for a Lame or AAC version to hit bit-torrent and download that instead. You've paid for it, afterall.

  • Well, in listening to the first 20 seconds of the new album you can very much hear that it's a 160kbps mp3. Which is a real shame.Still, I'm looking forward to listening to this all the same.