I don't own an iPod or any other music player so this post is not really something I've tried out yet. First it was Amazon, then iTunes, and now Napster. What am I referring to? DRM-free music of course.
Everyone who's ever experienced music with DRM knows just how frustrating things can get. You buy a great new song and then realize you are bound by really dumb restrictions. That too on something you paid good money for. Still, the DRM wall is collapsing slowly but surely thanks to music stores willing to offer DRM-free music.
Back to Napster. The store has two main listening options. You can either opt for a monthly listening subscription which works out cheaper or download individual songs for 99 cents. Oh yeah, you can also download a full album for $9.95. Apart from being DRM-free, the songs are encoded at a reasonably high quality bitrate of 256 kbps and come with album art.
Why is Napster doing this? SImple. They're looking to compete with iTunes. Apple has pretty much been the music retailer to beat for anyone looking to dominate the online music market. They seem to have started on a good note. Napster claims to have 6 million songs in their store songs from both major record labels and indie artists.
I'm going to wait and watch how Napster does before I pass any final judgments on their service. What do you think of Napster's strategy? Would you be willing to purchase songs from their store? How do you think they'll do against iTunes and the rest? Let me know in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.