Popular indie rock group The National is streaming its new album "High Violet" for free online (click on link). Free music streaming online is one of the best ways for a band to get its music heard, and it's wildly popular with fans.
What's different about The National album streaming is where it's taking place: The New York Times. We're used to seeing free album streaming on Spinner.com, KCRW.com, and other music sites, but I can't remember the Times ever doing it. (The free album streaming of "High Violet" is in conjunction with an article on The National in this week's New York Times Magazine.)
"High Violet" on the Times sounds just as good as any other album streaming I've found online, and actually doesn't have the stops and starts and buffering I've found on other album preview sites.
Will this free streaming of The National's album bring younger readers to the Times's Web site? Or introduce older listeners to The National? Hard to tell. But it's an interesting experiment for the paper. And as a music fan, I'm glad to see more sites letting listeners sample entire albums.