Quick releases without much notice seems to be the latest trend. Following the lead by Radiohead and The Raconteurs, Coldplay released the first single from their upcoming fourth album, Viva La Vida, this week. It was added to BBC Radio 1's playlist this week, straight in on the "A" list, which is a rare event (most new singles are added to the third-tier "C" list).
For 1 week, they are offering it as a free download through their Web site (coldplay.com). Unfortunately, this feature doesn't work as well as it should. It requires you to submit your email address and says an "email has been sent" to my account with download instructions. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, and I tried it four times. Finally the email arrived the next morning. Thankfully, its claim that the download expired "in 6 hours" was a lie, otherwise it would have melted away while I was at work.