Feeds

Napster unveils portable music service

Janus DRM'd for personal stereos

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Napster has launched Napster To Go, a version of its online music subscription service based on Microsoft's latest DRM technology, 'Janus'.

The announcement follows Microsoft's release of the latest Windows Media Player 10 beta, which incorporates Janus, and includes Napster and other Windows Media-using music services in WMP 10's 'Digital Media Mall' storefront.

Of course, since WMP 10 is still in beta, so by necessity is Napster To Go, which is due to go live "later this Fall", presumably when Microsoft ships the finished version of WMP 10. At that time, Napster will ship version 3.0 of its own client app.

In preview or finished release, Napster To Go (NTG) provides songs that can be copied over to a Janus-compatible portable music player, such as Rio's Carbon or Creative's upcoming Zen Portable Media Center, but expect more to follow when WMP 10 is finished.

Hardware vendors hope Janus will boost the market for their players, by allowing their users similar freedoms enjoyed by iPod owners. Likewise, Napster and co. hope that hardware support will boost the demand for downloads from their music stores - now all competing with Microsoft's own, of course, as well as Apple's.

It doesn't come cheap, however. Napster's preview release of NTG costs $14.95 a month, compared to the regular $9.95 a month subscription. If the case for market demand for "tethered" deals - as Napster itself calls its subscription services - hasn't yet been made, it's certainly unclear whether consumers will be willing to pay even more a month simply for the right to copy files over to a portable player. Napster's shareholders may like it, but will its customers?

Napster claims its NTG pricing is provisional, final pricing having yet been determined. Like the existing subscription service, NTG will offer unlimited download volumes. ®

Related stories

MS Portable Media Centers to ship mid-Sept
Microsoft listens to the music
MS cheers as Amazon offers 'iPod killer' Media Centers
Creative unveils iPod Mini-coloured MuVo2 update
Rio pitches Carbon player at iPod Mini
Apple taunts Napster, Real with iTunes affiliate program
Napster offers cut-price grooves to grunts
Roxio sells software core, adopts Napster shell

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.