Napster looks to de-tether downloads
'We hear the kids like these MP3 things'
Napster will once again deal in the scourge that are MP3s now that the major record labels have decided that MP3s are not evil but rather their future.
The music vendor will allow customers to purchase DRM-free songs and albums in the MP3 format. However, those poor souls subscribing to the Napster music rental service will still be tethered.
The Napster brand hasn't been associated with DRM-free music since the glorious illegal file trading days of, oh, 2000ish.
The shift to MP3s - rather than Microsoft DRMed tunes - will occur during the second quarter for Napster. The company has yet to reveal which labels will join its crusade, although all of the big boys are dabbling with the DRM-free idea.
About 750,000 people subscribe to Napster's tethered download rental system, and the company remains focused on that business. Still, Napster would like to grow its download business and sees the freedom of MP3s as a way "to break down the dominance of the closed iPod-iTunes system," according to CEO Chris Gorog, speaking to the Wall Street Journal.
Warner, EMI and Universal already sell MP3s via Amazon.com. ®
RE: Audiophiles can bite me
``When there's a mass market audio player that support FLAC (or, for that matter, OGG Vorbis) out the box,''
flac - Free Lossless Audio Codec
flac is a command-line tool for encoding, decoding, testing and analyz-
ing FLAC streams.
``Anybody who can tell the difference between a 320kbps MP3 and a FLAC file on normal kit has bat-like hearing.''
I can easily hear the difference on some random CMI8738 card, so s/bat/cat/ I guess...
...then again, MP3 is heavily dependent on LAME encoders (pun sincerely intended).
``the same people who will ''[...]``and I for one feel they should be denied anything to listen to on general principal.''
Hm, care to have some of my tooth enamel about those idiots?
``That said, if you feel a need for a FLAC file, I will gladly transcode an MP3 to FLAC at zero gravity, so that the heavy bits are normalised, for £2500 per megabyte.''
% <crap.mp3 | mpa -d | flac -c - >crap.flac # ? :X
@Audiophiles can bite me
Perhaps you should set up an appointment with an audiologist...
i like my napster
Why do you consistently bash napster? What you apparently don't understand about subscription music is that it is not necessarily intended to replace ownership...if that is important to you. The beauty of the subscription model is in the flexibility and access it provides. When I use the service, which is every day, I end up discovering so many new songs and artists that I would otherwise never have known about. It is well worth $13-$15 per month just for the ASP service of the napster software. The fact that I can download it onto my cell phone or mp3 player is just gravy. Now napster is upping the value proposition by allowing me to purchase DRM-free mp3 files if I care to own some of the artists I discover. I probably won't do so because I never expect to stop my subscription, but I could if that mattered to me. Why don't you guys take a fresh perspective on what one is really paying for with the subscription model rather than just mindlessly bashing it by comparing to ownership. What does one really "own" anyway? A file of electrons hidden inside a box of wires? What value is that? What I care about is hearing good music. "Owning" it is irrelevant.