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Napster has come full circle and now offers DRM free music for their library of 6 million music tracks and also compatibile with iPod and iPhone. Unfortunately, according to the news release (see below), it seems that the free DRM songs are only available for the US Store. Hopefully, it will make its way to the other Napster stores worldwide. I don’t know about you, but it seems that the push to DRM free music is catching on. Let’s face it. Putting the copyright protection isn’t going to stop people from sharing music and in some ways, it’s enticing some people to find a way to get around it. It’s like the record companies come up with a new copyright protection and within days, someone has found out a way to break it. So, this is a good thing. I’m certainly not supporting or in any way condoning pirating but I think that you have to look at it from the consumer point of view. If this DRM is going to stop me from transferring a legally purchased song from one device to another, what’s the point? I didn’t pay my hard earned money so that I’m going to be chained to only playing it on one device. What if my seven year old mp3 player breaks down? Uh oh. Enough of ranting, I’m happy that at least, Napster is now going with the tide in releasing non DRM music. Good stuff! While you’re here, why not check out Napster? Click here to get a FREE 7-day trial of Napster. Or for those in Canada, click here to start a Napster Canada 7-Day Free Trial. As I’ve mentioned before, the DRM free music is currently only available for the Napster US store but it’s likely it will come to Canada.
Napster Launches World’s Largest MP3 Store Featuring 6 Million Tracks
Songs Purchased at Napster Now Compatible With iPod and iPhone
LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Napster (Nasdaq:NAPS), the pioneer of digital music, today announced the launch of the world’s largest and most comprehensive MP3 store at www.napster.com/store.
Napster’s download store is more than 50% larger than any other MP3 store and boasts not only the largest major label MP3 catalog in the industry, but also the largest library of independent music available anywhere. All Napster download sales in the U.S. will now be in the user-friendly, DRM-free MP3 format, which is compatible with virtually any MP3 player or music phone including the iPod and the iPhone. Napster is the first music subscription service featuring major label content to offer 100% of its catalog in the MP3 format for download sales.
“Music fans have spoken and it’s clear they need the convenience, ease of use and broad interoperability of the DRM-free MP3 format, and they want to be able to find both major label artists and independent music all in one place. Napster is delighted to deliver all of this and more with the world’s largest MP3 catalog,” said Napster’s Chairman and CEO Chris Gorog. “Our new MP3 store, together with our award-winning ‘all you can eat’ music subscription service, provides the most comprehensive and exciting music experience available. Virtually any portable device in the world can now be used to enjoy tracks purchased at Napster, which is an important breakthrough for our company.”
Pricing for download sales will remain at 99 cents for single MP3 tracks and $9.95 for most MP3 albums, Napster confirmed. The vast majority of the MP3 catalog, including all major label content, is available at a high-quality 256kbps bitrate, and downloaded tracks include high-resolution album art. Consumers can visit and browse the download store with no obligation or commitment, and can also choose to subscribe to Napster’s on-demand streaming service, which is web-based and can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer without downloading software.
“Our goal is to enrich your life with music, in ways that are personalized to you,” said Chief Operating Officer Christopher Allen. “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 gives music fans the freedom of choice to discover, experience, and buy music on their own terms. With its web-based, open, innovative products and services, Napster gives consumers the ability to enjoy music across their desktop, living room, portable music player, and mobile phone.
“Developing online music services into true go-to consumer music destinations depends in large part on reducing hurdles to adoption,” said Susan Kevorkian, IDC’s Consumer Markets program director, “By offering millions of high quality, MP3-encoded DRM-free tracks from all of the major labels as well as independents, this service is well-positioned to appeal to the broad spectrum of music lovers, including iPod and iPhone owners.”
Napster, the pioneer of digital music, offers the ultimate in interactive music experiences, creating better ways to discover, share, acquire and enjoy music – anytime, anywhere. The company’s offerings include “Napster” (www.Napster.com) – the most popular, on-demand music subscription service in the world; “Freenapster” (www.freenapster.com), a unique Web experience offering free, on-demand music legally in the U.S.; and “Napster Mobile,” one of the industry’s fastest growing mobile music platforms, providing the premier mobile music experience for customers in 11 global markets. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Napster’s services are available in markets across the Americas, Europe and Japan.
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