Metallica has just released Live Metallica [$0.99 - iTunes Link], their very own companion application to go along with their website. With it fans can purchase official recordings of each and every single live show since 2004 and listen to the latest concert streaming for free.

Purchase the app, log into your existing account or register as a new user, and voila . . . every show you've purchased is there under the "listen" tab, along with a free stream of the latest show on the tour! You can listen to samples of over 5,300 live songs from close to 300 shows, and if you hear something you like, purchase it through the app and it will automatically stream on your phone . . . of course you can download your purchase to your computer later at your leisure. Shows from the free "Vault" section of the site are always streaming, and you can check out photos and notes from almost every show going back to 2004 when the site launched.

Metallica claims to have gotten this idea back in the day when they saw fans bootlegging their shows and figured they would make it more convenient by doing the recording themselves and cashing in. So you have to pay $0.99 to gain access to yet more content you again will have to pay for to access, minus a few free streams and jpegs of the band.

In-app purchases require paid apps (free stays free, remember), but it is interesting to see Apple allowing music purchase outside the iTunes store

Any hardcore Metallica fans out there going to give this a shot? Let us know in the comments!

[Thanks to Phil for the tip!]