Back when P2P downloading of music first started to become big, Metallica were one of the main voices against it. I don't recall exactly what their main reasons were for being more annoyed about illegal song downloading than other bands were, but it probably had something to do with the fact that any geek at the time who understood P2P music downloading was also often some kind of long haired Metallica fan type, and so therefore Metallica's songs were among the most ripped off.

Metallica has now made its songs available for individual legal downloads on Napster and iTunes. The band had been one of the last holdouts against the digital age of music, but has now apparently given in to the 21st century, and good on them.

A statement on the band's website said: "Over the last year or so, we have seen an ever-growing number of Metallica fans using online sites like iTunes to get their music.

"So, in continuing with the tradition of offering our albums for sale online as well as making our live concerts available for download in their entirety we are now offering fans the opportunity to obtain our songs individually."
What does the acceptance of the digital age of music by a band like Metallica mean for the old recording industry retail model? Well, whilst it might never die completely, I think we are all in agreement that it is going to get smaller and smaller and smaller.