Poll Results: If Tool’s new album released was the same as the last NIN album, which version would you purchase?

Last month some time, I asked in light of the recent Nine Inch Nails release, what level of purchase would you use on the next Tool CD?

The results were pretty close, with the majority of people indicating they’d purchase the $300 exclusive version, and the $75 enhanced and $10 CD versions not far behind.

Somewhat surprising (to me) was the fact that only a few people indicated they’d purchase a digital only copy.  I guess this is because Tool are well know for their fancy artwork, and hence physical copies of the album would have great appeal. Personally, if Tool didn’t provide the same level of artwork on their next CD as they have on the last few, I’d purchase the digital only copy.

In regards to the NIN release model, while overall I think it’s a good model, the one package I question is the $75 enhanced edition.  To me, the extras don’t really add up to an extra $65 over the ‘normal’ version.  However, I expect this would be the copy that NIN would make the most profit from.

But one thing came to mind when I read of NIN’s release model, and that was that I actually hold little attachment to my actual CD collection.  I’ve argued with some people on various forums that I no longer feel the need to purchase CD’s, and that I’d rather purchase things digitally.  This is especially true of albums that have “standard” artwork.  While I can appreciate the work on the Aenima, Lateralus and 10,000 Days releases, what benefit is there of actually owning the Undertow CD?

Further to that, I somewhat came to the conclusion that to me, CD’s are almost dead as a release format.  In fact I’d rather own a copy of albums on vinyl, where the artwork can generaly be much better appreciated.  If Adam & the rest of Tool were to dedicate their artistic efforts towards a vinyl sized sleeve/box, I believe they could release some awesome shit.  Imagine 10,000 Days with much larger stereoscopic images.

Maybe they could go further than that.  Perhaps they could do away with releasing the music in a physical format at all, and just sell the accompanying artwork. Lateralus or Aenima as a hardback edition for you coffee table perhaps?  Included with purchase are the rights to download FLAC encoded tracks?

I may never purchase another CD again.  To be honest the number of times I’ve listened to a CD in some kind of CD player in the last 5 years I could count on one hand.  From this point forward I’m committed to purchasing digital only copies of recordings, and only investing in physical copies where the artwork dictates.

Let me know what you all think…

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personally the only place i use hardcopies(cds) is in my car. since i have an ipod and my xbox360 links to my pc i have no need to use cds anywhere else. but with that in mind i do collect many bands albums including nine inch nails and tool. with nin, though,its less of a collection and more like an obsession.
with the nin deal, i went the 75 dollars route. as tempting as the deluxe 300 dollar thing was, that was something i couldnt let myself do.


I think you make extremely valid points. The one thing I would disagree on, or…the one thing we differ in is that I see the anticipation of an album, going to purchase an album, opening the case, looking at the artwork (whether good or bad), and then popping it in to play as the whole album “experience”. Theres something about getting music from two clicks of a mouse that just doesn’t appeal to me unless its just to try things out. If I know its a band that hasn’t disappointed me in the past, I buy the album.


I still buy the hard copy because it is a built-in backup, and I can rip it to whatever format I want, at whatever quality I want, with no transcoding.


i agree with thepot23. i dont think lateralus would have the same appeal if i hadnt listened to it through, great albums are an experience(although i feel like a wanker saying it). i wouldnt know about disposition/reflection/triad for starters. i just dont like the idea of a ‘concept mp3.’
i do like that the bands get a lot more revenue through internet sales(im assuming), but then again i also like bands that dont play for the money, although they are few and far between.


My first thought when I think about pay n download music is the lossy sound that iTunes expects us to pay for. There are better ways to take it up the arse. I’m glad that NIN turned this on its head and offered lossless formats for these downloads. I’m also glad they’ve made full use of the mp3 format to provide album/track art (playing Ghosts on Windows Media Player with the ‘Album Art’ visualisation shows a different pic with each track). I need my 44kHz 16bit encoded sound. Ions ripped to 320 bit-rate mp3 still cant make the zzzzzzzttt’s sound… Read more »


Well I got some awesome news for you NIN fans…Tour dates have been announced. I am a huge NIN fan so I figured I’ll share this with Hellboy. And I havent post stuff on here that much but this post is awesome news. July 25 Pemberton BC Pemberton Festival July 26 Seattle WA Key Arena at Seattle Center July 28 Edmonton ALB Rexall Place July 29 Calgary ALB Pengrowth Saddledome July 31 Winnipeg MAN MTS Centre August 2 Minneapolis MN Target Center August 5 Toronto ONT Air Canada Centre August 7 Uncasville CT Mohegan Sun Arena August 8 Worcester MA… Read more »


I would only buy a digital copy of an album if it was the only release format available. When I buy music, I want to have something I can hold in my hand. Something I can put in shelf, together with the other items I already have.