How To Instantly Download and Listen To Radiohead’s New Album in Just 42 Easy To Follow Steps

As Radiohead releases their new album, “A Moon Shaped Pool”, Every Record Tells A Story seeks to provide a public service. 

We shouldn’t mock, but there are readers out there who aren’t as technically savvy as everybody else. Not everyone is proficient with technology. Some people don’t know their MP3s from their er, woofers and tweeters, so the following post is for these people.

You’re welcome. 

Guessing which distribution channel Radiohead will use for new album releases is almost as much fun as wondering whether the album will be as underwhelming as King of Limbs (are we allowed to say that yet?). Will it be printed on typewriter ribbons, dropped from a hot air balloon or crop sprayer, disseminated via carrier pigeon or something really old fashioned like…..a CD?

It could be worse…

The main reason I have yet to hear Thom Yorke’s last solo album is because he announced it would be released via bit torrent. 

“That’s me out, then” I thought to myself, thinking back to the hours I spent a decade or more ago trying to illegally download a Red Hot Chilli Peppers album using one of those dodgy sites. 

I don’t know which was worse: the hours I spent swearing at the screen trying to get the damn thing to work or the sudden realisation that I was trying to download a Red Hot Chilli Peppers album. 

With the Thom Yorke album I just pictured me sitting up at 3am on a Sunday night having started to download the thing at 9 o’clock the previous Thursday, only to succeed and hear Yorke’s despondent whimpering amidst a series of robotic bleeps. It wasn’t going to cheer me up after the trauma of downloading something from a torrent. Hell, I’m not sure a video of Taylor Swift holding a fluffy kitten singing Pharrell’s “Happy” would be enough to instantly wake me from that particular hell. They should include a Samaritans phone number with every download, just in case. 

Back to “A Moon Shaped Pool”…

There are a number of choices for the Radiohead fan. There’s the regular CD, two types of download, a Regular vinyl LP, an Indie Record Shop only £20 album*, and the deluxe beautifully packaged version.

After ordering the album on Sunday evening I was looking forward to hearing the album that night. 

That was my first mistake. A material over-estimation of my abilities. I rather cockily thought I would go for the lossless .WAV file download. Hear it in the best possible quality. 

I’ll be honest, it took me quite a while, so rather than have you go through the same stress that I went through, I thought I would take you through what to do to get your instant download:

1. After ordering, you have three chances to download the album. Click the link on your iPad. 

2. When nothing happens, click again, thinking it just hasn’t worked, in that time honoured way that people do when they order the same thing from Amazon twice.

3. See that the “Download” button now tells you that you only have one download left. 

4. Start to panic. 

5. Look for the file in your iPad, even though you don’t really know how. 

6. Open the Music app. See that the album isn’t there. 

7. Download and open a WinZip app. See there’s nothing there either. 

8. Google how to sync files. 

9. Download Dropbox to the iPad. Nothing.

10. Dig out your laptop, which runs on a version of Windows so outdated that when you open the browser it tells you Chrome isn’t supported anymore. Cat immediately sits on laptop keyboard. Push cat off the laptop.

11. Think about updating the operating system then remember you need to listen to the Radiohead album at some point this week. Make mental note to upgrade to Windows 10 when you get some spare time (i.e. never)

12. Download Dropbox to your PC. Push cat off laptop. 

13. Go to the Radiohead website. 

14. Log in. 

15. Press the “forgotten password” button and wait for the password reset email. 

16. Log in, and look for the download button, which is no longer there. 

17. Go to your email mailbox and see there is a link. Click link. 

18. Click, with some trepidation, the “Download” button. Save to the Dropbox folder. 

19. Album downloads. 

20. Unzip album using WinZip software. 

21. Go to your phone and install Dropbox onto that. 

22. Repeat step 15.

23. Wait for the files to appear on Dropbox. You can now play the files. 

24. But wait, they stop playing when the screen locks. The tracks still don’t appear in the Music App. 

25. Google “.WAV file iPhone players. 

26. Realise a .WAV file player for iPhone might cost £12.99 to download, which is more than the downloaded album. Decide to play via iTunes. 

27. Open iTunes and add downloaded files to iTunes. Try to sync iPhone to iTunes but computer tells you your version of iTunes is out of date. 

28. Download update to iTunes. Pour drink of choice whilst this happens. 

29. Computer tells you your version of Windows is too old to support this version of iTunes. Swear at computer. 

30. Push cat off computer. 

31. Dig out old iPod Classic. Search drawer for connecting USB lead that still works. Charge iPod. 

32. Sync old iPod classic to iTunes. Works perfectly (of course).

34. Realise the album artwork isn’t there,and you need to rename all the files to reflect the artist and album name. 

35. Renames files, add artwork. 

36. Re-sync iPod. 

37. Breathe sigh of relief. Realise it is 3am and you have work in the morning. 

38. Go to bed. 

39. Oversleep, wake up in panic, rush out of house to catch train. 

40. At the station, realise you have left iPod at home. 

41. Swear loudly, attracting attention of several passers by, some of whom cross the street. 

42. Download OK Computer to Spotify on your phone and play that on the way to work….

And they say vinyl is inconvenient…


Finally, I see that the deluxe version includes some tape from one of their recording sessions. Not sure you’d be able to play it, but it would be fascinating to try – you could have a snippet from Kid A, or In Rainbows perhaps?

I’m sure someone will find a way, but forgive me if I don’t spend a lot of time solving that particular problem: I’m a bit busy trying to download the album…

(P.S. on first listen the album is terrific, especially Burn The Witch, Ful Stop and The Numbers)

* (nice of them to throw the indie record shops a frickin’ bone after effectively cutting them out of the game with their direct-to-consumer get-it-from-us-first distribution model)





13 responses to “How To Instantly Download and Listen To Radiohead’s New Album in Just 42 Easy To Follow Steps”

  1. Mike Avatar

    You missed the step where your Winzip software is displaying in Arabic so you have no idea what to do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Avatar

    Don’t you dare diss RHCP…


  3. mikeladano Avatar

    Really enjoyed this.

    I think CD will do for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rossmurray1 Avatar

    This is why one dies these things at work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      That is a very wise comment. I take my hat off to you…


      1. rossmurray1 Avatar

        In case there was any ambiguity.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Rob Jones Avatar
    Rob Jones

    ‘When nothing happens’! brilliant. I gave up downloading years ago when I went back to vinyl full time. It dawned on me that it was quicker to get the bus into town and buy record than wait for it to download in a state of heightened anxiety. I have several albums downloaded via bit torrent that I have never listened to due to mental exhaustion. On the other hand good old vinyl is a relaxing experience. Brilliant article cleverly observed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      Thank you. Good to know it isn’t just me with techno-induced anxiety…..


  6. Dave Avatar

    I’m so old and out of touch I’m not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (whatever that is…) or any other social media platform, but I’ve taken to downloading like I was born to it. I often buy indie label, self-released or out-of-print-on-CD albums from the very fab CD Baby and Bandcamp, and the odd mainstream release from HD Tracks (who are a bit pricey). There’s a few other great sites which provide a reliable service at a good price but I’m not always sure they’re hand-on-heart honest-to-god legit.

    I’ve used torrents a fair bit but I have my hand twitching nervously over the mouse when I start the download because some of them can be pretty nasty. I’d rather pay – honestly! – but if it comes to buying my 4th copy of Sticky Fingers because there’s a couple of dodgy bonus tracks I didn’t get last time I shelled out for it, well, the Stones got my money 3 times for the same album already. My other reason to use torrents or blog sites is for bootlegs or albums that are completely unavailable through any other channel. I’m a bit keen on classic Aussie pop and rock and loads of albums were released on CD for 5 minutes back in 1990 and instantly deleted, or even not released on CD at all. Getting a download of a vinyl rip and cleaning it up is the only way to avoid paying $300 to some arse-clown on Discogs or eBay.

    I also download in WAV or FLAC because I seem to have filled most rooms in my house with vintage 70s and 80s stereos and I instantly blow my cutting-edge tech-head cool by burning my downloads to CD and printing out the cover art. I have to be able to hold the thing in my hands for it to be real. I imagine I can hear the difference between WAV/FLAC etc and mp3 even though the net’s full of experts telling me I can’t.

    I don’t download to my iPad. Way too complicated for me. I use my old PC which seems to be a dead simple process, and I can even find the file after I’ve downloaded it. There’s stuff on my iPad which I’ve never ever found because Apple doesn’t want you to buy anything from anywhere but iTunes, so they ensure your download disappears down a black hole.

    I can’t afford the man-bun hipster premium for most new vinyl. I live in a country town in South Australia approximately 250 miles from the nearest second-hand record shop.

    Cheers, Dave


  7. John S Avatar

    It’s a brilliant album, which is the most important thing. I agree with you on Thom’s last solo album. I’ve yet to hear it, other than live at Latitude. Why won’t he just put it on iTunes?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jd Avatar

    Hear that, Steve? That’s the sound of my partner and i laughing so hard in Melbourne. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Erik Avatar

    I once bought Hail to the Thief.
    I thought it was geniuous to offer the opportunity to download the album and let it to the customer how much to pay, without record companies or IT-multinationals interfering.
    I payed €10 back then.

    So, i decided to visit their site again to buy this album. Payed €14.
    And then I got lost: no clue where to find the downloaded files, where to complain, how to reactivate the download link, what mail address my password recovery should be sent to.
    And no time to find out.

    So I payed iTMS €12. And then the album was on my iPad within only one minute.

    I can’t imagine Radiohead wants to earn money this way and a multinational profit of their bad costumer service


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