Feeds

Napster flirts with Apple fanboys

'Get your MP3s here'

Security for virtualized datacentres

Napster has a message for all you iPod and iPhone owners: It's now selling DRM-free MP3s.

Today, Napster unveiled a new version of its digital music service - for Americans only - offering its entire catalog for download in good old MP3 format, and as it was sure to point out in its press release, MP3s work just fine with Jesus Phones and John the Baptist Pods.

Yes, you can still use the service on an "all-you-can-eat" subscription basis. But now you also have the option of purchasing any individual tune without DRM restrictions.

Napster Chief Operating Officer Christopher Allen wouldn't speak to us, so we're obliged to use his canned statement from the press release: "Our goal is to enrich your life with music, in ways that are personalized to you," he said. "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 brags that "it's the first music subscription service featuring major label content to offer 100 per cent of its catalog in the MP3 format for download sales". Famously, Amazon offers its entire catalog in MP3 format, but it doesn't give you the subscription bit.

Napster also brags that its service is 50 per cent larger than any other. But this may be stretching the point. Amazon claims over five million, while Napster claims over 6 million. Last time we checked, that's not 50 per cent larger.

Individual Napster MP3s are priced at 99 cents, and most MP3 albums can be had for $9.95. Most of the catalog - but not all - is available at a 256kbps bitrate.

Apple offers DRM-free downloads on its iTunes service - but only from from one mega-record label: EMI. (These will play on any device that supports the .AAC format).

Yes, Napster offers iPoders and iPhoners something they can't get at iTunes. The question is how many will actually partake. So many stick with all things Apple because they prefer sticking with all things Apple. ®

Update

Christopher Allen just got back to us. He's acknowledges that there's some debate over the size of Napster versus the size of Amazon's music service, but he points out that without a doubt, Napster is larger. He also says the company is exploring a 100-per cent MP3 download service for countries outside the US.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.