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    Napster Launches World's Largest MP3 Store Featuring 6 Million Tracks

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    Napster today announced the launch of the world's largest and most comprehensive MP3 store at http://www.napster.com/store.

    Napster's download store is more than 50% larger than any other MP3 store and boasts not only the largest major label MP3 catalog in the industry, but also the largest library of independent music available anywhere. All Napster download sales in the U.S. will now be in the user-friendly, DRM-free MP3 format, which is compatible with virtually any MP3 player or music phone including the iPod and the iPhone. Napster is the first music subscription service featuring major label content to offer 100% of its catalog in the MP3 format for download sales.

    "Music fans have spoken and it's clear they need the convenience, ease of use and broad interoperability of the DRM-free MP3 format, and they want to be able to find both major label artists and independent music all in one place. Napster is delighted to deliver all of this and more with the world's largest MP3 catalog," said Napster's Chairman and CEO Chris Gorog. "Our new MP3 store, together with our award-winning 'all you can eat' music subscription service, provides the most comprehensive and exciting music experience available. Virtually any portable device in the world can now be used to enjoy tracks purchased at Napster, which is an important breakthrough for our company."

    Pricing for download sales will remain at 99 cents for single MP3 tracks and $9.95 for most MP3 albums, Napster confirmed. The vast majority of the MP3 catalog, including all major label content, is available at a high-quality 256kbps bitrate, and downloaded tracks include high-resolution album art. Consumers can visit and browse the download store with no obligation or commitment, and can also choose to subscribe to Napster's on-demand streaming service, which is web-based and can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer without downloading software.

    "Our goal is to enrich your life with music, in ways that are personalized to you," said Chief Operating Officer Christopher Allen. "Napster now offers a truly complete and synergistic digital music destination, where music lovers can not only discover and listen to music, but also buy and own everything they want in MP3 format, which works on any music player. The combination offers consumers the best of both worlds."

    Napster gives music fans the freedom of choice to discover, experience, and buy music on their own terms. With its web-based, open, innovative products and services, Napster gives consumers the ability to enjoy music across their desktop, living room, portable music player, and mobile phone.

    "Developing online music services into true go-to consumer music destinations depends in large part on reducing hurdles to adoption," said Susan Kevorkian, IDC's Consumer Markets program director, "By offering millions of high quality, MP3-encoded DRM-free tracks from all of the major labels as well as independents, this service is well-positioned to appeal to the broad spectrum of music lovers, including iPod and iPhone owners."

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    That's cool. I stop buying music from itunes becauses of the DRM. If I buy a song. I want to be able to put that song on a ipod or iphone or mp3 player or even blackberry. I use amazon music store.

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    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~ I might have to try that out. Thanks.

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    DRM-free nice! What's the catch?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrockett View Post
    DRM-free nice! What's the catch?
    The catch is that if they left the DRM in the files, more people would just download music for free and further crush the major record labels.

    Personally, I couldn't care less. Anything on major labels isn't worth paying for, and as a musician myself, I know that there isn't any money in CD sales for the artists. I've played with quite a few bands that had at one point been "signed" and while they played shows all the time and sold tons of CD's, were totally in debt because the record labels took all of the profits. They barely got out of their contracts with the rights to their own music.

    Maybe if the record companies would sign someone who can actually bring something new to the table and not sound like Nickelback or Fall Out Boy, I might actually consider buying it. Until then, I won't pay a dime for music.
    Last edited by Rota; 05-20-2008 at 01:12 PM.

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    I'll agree to an extent with rota. Being a newb to ipod/itunes (always had a generic mp3 player) I had no clue about the "drm/protected files). I can actually remember the days of napster -- 7 or so years ago. Poor sean fanning great idea and metallica (well lars) really messed it up. The artists are finally learning napster could have been a good thing for them. I think I heard that lars has even changed his stance on free downloads.

    Personally -- if I like the artist I tend to buy the cd. But its normally after I've *illegally* downloaded a couple of tracks first

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    OK---clear it up for people like me---

    I thought that you HAD to have the monthly fee, and if you stopped the monthly fee then you lost your music. Am I wrong?
    Color---it's nothing but a hue of the rainbow...why do people place such importance in it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherrichiodo View Post
    Personally -- if I like the artist I tend to buy the cd. But its normally after I've *illegally* downloaded a couple of tracks first
    I've written many research papers on music downloading, and this here is a prime example of why having free downloads is a good idea. A free sample will convince many people to buy the real deal, and if not, the band at least has new fans.

    I almost always will make it a point to go see a band live if I like them, and possibly buy some merchandise if it's reasonably priced. They make more money that way, and live shows are always better than CD, depending on the band of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsNowOrNever View Post
    OK---clear it up for people like me---

    I thought that you HAD to have the monthly fee, and if you stopped the monthly fee then you lost your music. Am I wrong?
    It depends if you're on a subscription service. iTunes lets you buy any song you want for $0.99, and most CD's for $5-$10, usually depending in their length. You can store any music you want in your iTunes library, and you don't have to have a store account to use the program. There also is no monthly fee. I've never used the pay version of Napster, but I'd assume it's the same way.

    Companies that sell music downloads have begun to realize that if their service isn't extremely simple for the customer, or it has a catch around every corner, it'd be much easier for the him to just go and download illegally and not worry about DRM, subcription fees, and losing his music if he stops paying.
    Last edited by Rota; 05-20-2008 at 02:57 PM.

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    I signed up for this but according to their list of compatible devices, BlackBerry devices are not compatible to transfer tracks to for free.

    EDIT: I figured it out. The Napster To Go is NOT compatible with iPod and other devices. I changed to the Subscription service to be able to synch to my iPod and BB.
    Last edited by EricaJ1073; 05-20-2008 at 07:57 PM.


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