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Nine Inch Nails releases Internet album

Trent Reznor, regarded as one of the music world's leading Web innovators, releases digital album, Ghosts I-IV, over the Web.

Trent Reznor Rob Sheridan

Trent Reznor, the man behind the rock group Nine Inch Nails, continued his foray into self-distribution by releasing a 36-track instrumental album over the Internet.

The album, Ghosts I-IV, went on sale Sunday on, the band's Web site, and was available in a varying range of price packages.

Reznor is giving away the first nine songs of the album for free. The entire album in a digital version is available for $5. Nine Inch Nails' fans can order separate disc-sets of the album (with varying bonus materials and merchandise) from $10 to $300.

With the album release, Nine Inch Nails is the latest to offer its own version of the online promotion made famous by British supergroup Radiohead. In October, Radiohead released In Rainbows over the Internet and stirred excitement throughout the music industry by allowing fans to pay whatever price they chose for the music.

Reznor, who split with his record label last year, applauded Radiohead's move. In October, shortly after In Rainbows came out, he helped little-known music artist Saul Williams release an online-only album in a similar way.

In keeping with Reznor's views that performers should embrace BitTorrent and other file-sharing technologies, Nine Inch Nails has uploaded some of its new songs on BitTorrent sites.

"Now that we're no longer constrained by a record label," the band said in a statement, "we've decided to personally upload Ghosts I, the first of the four volumes, to various torrent sites because we believe BitTorrent is a revolutionary digital distribution method."