Going for a song
iOS App of the Week I’ve been a keen user of Spotify’s free, ad-supported music streaming service ever since it first launched. However, Spotify is now starting to restrict its free service, and with big names like Apple, Google and Amazon lining up their own cloud-based services it looks as though subscriptions are the way forward – whether we like it or not.
Main browser and user music collection
It’s no surprise, then, that the now-completely-legit Napster has decided to get in on the act with this new iPhone app. You can already sign up for the existing Napster Unlimited service on a computer for £5 per month, but using the app on your iPhone or iPad requires you to pay £10 per month for the ‘Unlimited Plus Mobile’ subscription plan.
For that price, Napster works out the same as Spotify’s premium service. Yet Napster claims to offer a library of 15 million tracks compared to a paltry 13 million for Spotify.
Search and off-line listening
The app’s interface is pretty straightforward, with two main options for browsing and listening to music. The Explore button allows you to browse through charts, new releases and featured artists, or you can use the Search tool to quickly locate specific tracks and then compile your own playlists and collections of favourite artists and albums.
Impossible to find out anything about the service without an account.
Napster will never be getting my business until I can see what their "18 Million tracks" includes.
It is frankly ridiculous that the only way you can browse their catalogue is to sign up with a credit card. I don't expect to be able to play tracks for free; I'm quite comfortable with the subscription model, but the only way to entice me to stump up is to show me what music you have.
Spotify only has 15 million tracks because they've imported hundreds of cheap live albums, remixes and, worst of all, karaoke CDs. Sorry, Spotify, you are just insulting me. How can I tell Napster isn't just the same? At least Spotify allows you to browse, and even listen to, their catalogue before signing up.
Also, Napster claims to offer an MP3 store (http://www.napster.co.uk/product_info.html) but can anyone work out how to access it without signing up for a paid subscription?
Missing the point
I suppose if someone bought an album on CD or via a legal online music service, you would say that they could have downloading a pirated copy for nowt.
The radio is still free.
I think he was being sarcastic..
When you buy an album some money goes to the artist and it's yours permanently. But charging double the price to access the same service on a mobile device is crazy.
Furthermore Napster, Spotify and other subscription services are bad for artists who seldom see any money and in some cases have to pay to have their music hosted. It's just record labels ripping everyone off all over again.
Just a reminder, Lady Gaga earned $167 for her million+ plays on spotify. Doubt Napster will prove any different.
I'm happy listening to my internet radio stations and downloading music videos from youtube. I buy the occasional CD too.