Apple streaming pre-release Red Hot Chili Peppers album in iTunes, free

Apple has partnered with funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers to present the new album "I'm With You" as both a $12.99 preorder and a free stream for listeners wanting to hear the new album before its release.

The new album, the band's tenth, is expected to ship next week but fans can listen to a free stream of the entire album through the desktop iTunes Music Store.

Band member Flea announced the album would be streamed for free from the groups website as part of a "global listening party" yesterday. There is no notice on iTunes explaining if the stream will be hosted permanently or if it is a temporary promotion.

The band is promoting a tour coinciding with the new album's release, officially beginning September 11 in Bogota Columbia and continuing through South America and into Europe through the end of the year before heading to the US and Australia next year and continuing into 2013.

Apple has regularly expanding the scope of music promotions and sales, pushing the music industry to support single song downloads, then the removal of DRM, longer music previews, and most recently, pursued efforts to support unlimited downloads and mobile device streaming.