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SDK news, Wait-a-Thon $100 iTunes Gift Cards, sparkling personalities... can life here at Phonedifferent get any better?? YES!!!

How 'bout some FREE music, compliments of NIN (Nine Inch Nails)?

Following up on Radiohead's release last year, NIN is offering FREE music for download. Titled "Ghosts I - IV", Ghosts I are the first 9 tracks available for free download as high-quality, DRM-free MP3s, including the complete PDF. All you need is a valid email address and presto, you got some free music to carry around with you on your iPhone.

That's not the best part, though, read on...

Here's the sweet part, though: for five bucks you all 36 tracks of Ghosts I - IV in a variety of digital formats including a 40 page PDF. If you splurge and pay $10, you get the afore-mentioned tracks plus two audio CDs in a six panel digipak package with a 16 page booklet. This option still gets you the full digital download today with the promise of the CDs and booklet shipping April 8, 2008.

There are additional packages available, all found here: http://ghosts.nin.com/main/order_options

Why is this so amazing? No record label. Nada. Period. And no whining ( Metallica ) from NIN about the current state of affairs in the music industry. Instead, NIN has embraced the consequences of music file proliferation via internet and they are MAKING MONEY with an interesting business model (remind you of anything? Apps for iPhone via iTunes, maybe??). In fact, thus far, the $300 Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition Package from NIN has SOLD OUT of the 2,500 packages available. That's a cool $750,000 gross right there. Allegedly that's more than a music artist will gross under a record label. Brilliant.

What's more, the music is available for public use! The first 9 tracks are available for sharing and re-mixing under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license.

Getting free music from NIN in a format that you can easily (and legally) remix in Garage Band, then throw on your iPhone as a Ringtone sounds like a nice way to spend a lazy Monday afternoon.