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Music Media The Almighty Buck

New Napster Off To A Solid Start 593

Posted by Hemos
from the jumping-into-high-gear dept.
Anonymous Superhero writes "From Wired magazine Napster 2.0 has a sleek design and makes exploring new music a pleasure. The most nagging problem? The confusing licensing issues. A review by Katie Dean." I haven't tried it yet - still using the iTunes store.
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New Napster Off To A Solid Start

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:04AM (#7377795)
    Still using piracy. Arrrr, matey.
    • by Quasar1999 (520073) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:38AM (#7378113) Journal
      Being a Canadian, I have no choice but to use piracy... there is no legal way to buy music online in Canada...

      And HMV marks every CD they have as 'imported', and jacks up the price to $45. I have tried to buy music online from all the major new online music stores... no luck... so I'll continue to pirate (since I'm already paying a piracy tax on all recordable media, I'm legally entitled too... I love stupid politicians...)
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:48AM (#7378209)
        Puretracks [puretracks.com], is a canadian legal music service.
      • And HMV marks every CD they have as 'imported', and jacks up the price to $45.

        Yea, but according to my currency converter, thats like $8 U.S.

        • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:16PM (#7378439) Homepage
          Actually, Accoring to the currency converter [xe.com] I use, it's 33.75 USD. You americans should stop being so arrogant and notice what's happening with your currency. Click here [yahoo.com] for a nice graph of what's happening with the Canadian Dollar
      • by Darth23 (720385) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:55AM (#7378264) Journal
        Imported.... like all the way from the USA. lol. Maybe we could trade cheap Canadian Prescription Drugs for Cheap Music CD's.... Maybe that's what Globalization is all about.
      • Actually, according the Part VIII of the Canadian Copyright Act [justice.gc.ca] it's entirely legal to download music from the internet. It states that it is legal due to the levys placed on recordable media, so it's unclear as to how this applies to copying to a hard drive (for which there is no levy), but it does state that copying music for personal use is legal. The down side is, there is a levy for hard drives and the recordable media in portable mp3 players in the works. I can't find the article at this time, but the
  • i see.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuckfuck101 (699067) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:04AM (#7377798)

    "I haven't tried it yet - still using the iTunes store. "

    that somebody has an advertising deal?

    • Re:i see.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by finkployd (12902)
      somebody has an advertising deal?

      Or a Mac

      Or a Windows machine where they do not want to install MediaPlayer 9 and all the DRM crap.

      Finkployd
  • monthyl liscence? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by snyps (656162)
    My main concern about the new napster service is that they do charge 1$ per song making it not much cheeper than a normal cd, and i have heard rumor that the monthly service does not allow cd burning if anyone knows if this is true please email me @ penguinpower_2@yahoo.com.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Your mail box is about to get /.ed. Good work, genius.
    • Re:monthyl liscence? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Llywelyn (531070) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:11AM (#7377852) Homepage
      http://www.napster.com/terms.html

      If you are on their monthly service you keep the music only so long as you subscribe to their service and cannot burn it (or I think transfer it to a music player) without paying the additional charge.

      It also reports how many times you've played each track to headquarters.
      • by Lussarn (105276) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:22AM (#7377959)

        It also reports how many times you've played each track to headquarters.


        I can live without that. What do they want to know next? How often I take a shit.
  • iTunes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGPNO@SPAMColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:05AM (#7377807) Homepage
    I haven't tried it yet - still using the iTunes store.

    No kidding. iTunes is great, but I don't use it for music - I use it for the audiobooks. These are not available by *ahem* cheaper means, so I love having iTunes for them.
    • Re:iTunes (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rude Turnip (49495)
      The best part about buying audiobooks on iTunes is that when you go to burn a particularly large audiobook to CD, iTunes will automatically span the audiobook across multiple CDs, if need be. btw, "Benjamin Franklin, Citizen" was worth the $7.95 (and 2 blank CDRs :)!
    • Re:iTunes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mblase (200735) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:28AM (#7378020)
      As near as I can tell, Napster 2.0 is a store first and a jukebox second. Its jukebox tools are sorely lacking compared to iTunes, and its biggest omission is that it doesn't even include a CD ripper.

      iTunes outclasses Napster in almost every way that counts. It would be more fair to compare iTunes to the new and improved MusicMatch [musicmatch.com], which added online music shopping about a month before iTunes for Windows was released, and compare Napster to BuyMusic [buymusic.com] instead.
    • Audible (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bizzarobot (442358)
      Many more audio books are available at Audible.com. They use a monthly fee of $15 for any one book and one periodical or $20 for any two books plus discounts on purchases outside of your subscription plan. You can also purchase books without a monthly subscription at prices comparable to iTunes. If you ditch your subscription, you still keep your purchased books and can even redownload them. The DRM is the same as, and playable through, iTunes; 3 computers authorized at any one time, iPod-able, and CD
  • Yummy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaneelGiskard (222145) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:06AM (#7377812) Homepage
    At $10 a month, the Napster premium service allows customers to stream an unlimited number of songs and listen to Napster's preprogrammed radio stations. For as long as you shell out the fee, you can download tracks and listen to them either online or offline. Stop paying the fee, and you don't get to keep the downloads.

    Sounds like a nice way to get all the stuff you like for 10 bucks a month - given that you have the right tools to get the audio stream into a mp3 - can't be too difficult.

    Of course, this would be illegal, so I won't try it (no, really!) ;-)
    • Well depending on what it streams at. Even if I would do what you mentioned, it better stream at 192+ before I'd even try that, waste of time imo.
    • It's always good to see innovation, but.. I would keep my wallet in my pocket. If I have to think about the licensing, it's too complicated. Divx, anyone?

      I like itunes for one reason: It doesn't make me feel like I'm being spammed to death. (just don't tell any of my geek friends that I'm using an ipod. They'll revoke my black belt in grep-fu)
    • Re:Yummy (Score:5, Informative)

      by TintinX (569362) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:29AM (#7378029) Homepage
      Seems they've thought of this.
      Upon installation you are asked to supply your connection speed for streaming purposes.
      The maximum available is 96 so stream capturing isn't really an option.
    • Re:Yummy (Score:4, Informative)

      by bigwavejas (678602) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:34AM (#7378079) Journal
      Stream Ripper is a great streaming media ripping tool. It works with winamp too, pretty slick.
      http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/sr32/
    • by SoyFeo408 (322191) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:03PM (#7378346)
      Well, they let you burn to CD, which is an inherently unprotected format. So you *could* burn to CD and turn right around and rip back to an unprotected format like MP3 (not that I would do something so blatantly illegal as this) ;)

      BUT -- if I *WERE* to do something so blatantly illegal as that, I would consider it a huge waste of CD blanks. Which brings me to my question:

      Most of us are familiar with programs like Daemon Tools that tricks your computer into seeing an ISO image as an extra CD drive. Has ANYONE seen a program/driver that does this process in reverse?
      For example, it could be a program that tricks your computer into seeing an extra CD-R drive which is in reality just an ISO file creator. Nero and several other programs provide this kind of functionality, but only from within their application. Since Napster (and iTunes for that matter) only allows you to burn from their program, I figure such a program would have to work at the ATAPI level, not as a separate application.

      I've scoured the net and haven't found any such program yet. I would love to code this sort of thing myself, but unfortunately I'm woefully ignorant of the particular Windows functions one would have to interface with to emulate a drive.
      I figure there's enough open source gurus that mill around this site that SOMEONE might see this post and take it upon themself to code this sort of tool. Anyone with any thoughts/suggestions/flames can AIM me at SoyFeo408.
  • Rock solid start... (Score:4, Informative)

    by angst7 (62954) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:06AM (#7377813) Homepage
    Uh huh...

    We're sorry, Napster is not currently compatible with your operating system.

    Napster is currently compatible with Windows XP/2000.
    Windows 95, Windows NT and the Mac OS are not supported at this time.

    If you are planning on using Napster on this computer, the service will not be compatible and you should discontinue registration. If you will use Napster on a different computer, with a compatible operating system, please continue.


    No thanks, buddy...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:08AM (#7377827)
    When the Apple Music Store for Windows went live, half the xp users on the internet had downloaded iTunes within 24 hours, it was the most talked-about event on the internet for days, and Apple had almost immediate statistics showing they'd sold millions and millions of songs in the first weekend.

    Where are Napster2's such statistics? If they're remaining silent on that, what does that say about how much of a "success" they are so far?

    Now that Napster 2.0 is out... I mean, it's out already? The only way I knew was those ads on the Onion. But that made it seem like a "coming soon" thing. Heck, it's barely made a ripple. You'd think if it were worthwhile, it would get more press than the press they merely recieve because of their famous name.

    So are all the people complaining that you can't run your iTunes Music Store purchases on more than 3 computers going to overlook the seemingly worse flaws in Napster2, or whine all the louder?
    • by oscast (653817)
      There is a survey [osviews.com] on osViews that shows the choices people are making when buying music from the various services that have popped up.

      The results are very interesting.
    • by King_TJ (85913) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:31PM (#7379813) Journal
      I see no reason for anyone to get excited over the second coming of Napster. Fact is, everyone knows the first one was all about making music trading easy and FREE. Now, mention Napster 2 and almost everyone either says "Huh? Did they win a court case and manage to come back again, offering free music?" or "Oh yeah, the guys that got busted over piracy the first time around, so now they're trying to sell music, cashing in on their old name."

      Meanwhile, Napster's founder is on to other projects (most notably, Ryze - the business contact network).

      Apple has clout and respect with the masses, because when they offer a music store, people simply think "Cool, online music purchasing brought to us by the guys that gave us the way cool iPod portable music player!" There's no negative "baggage" like a Napster has.

      BTW - has anyone used www.ryze.com and found it useful/worthwhile? I gave it a shot, and personally, I found it mostly annoying. The concept was great.... but it seems to draw "wanna-bes", "psychics/mystics/religious zealots" and loads of hucksters trying to sell you their self-help or getting-started type books/videos. I was hoping to do some serious business networking with people, like myself, doing computer consulting/upgrading/etc. Instead, I got invites to join message forums run by people doing motivational seminars and selling insurance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:08AM (#7377828)
    As soon as my lawyer finishes reviewing the licensing agreements and terms of use. It should only take about 5 days and cost me $10,000.

    Jeez. It was so much easier in the old days. At least then it was obvious that you were breaking the law. Now you just don't know...
  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGPNO@SPAMColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:09AM (#7377831) Homepage
    For as long as you shell out the fee, you can download tracks and listen to them either online or offline. Stop paying the fee, and you don't get to keep the downloads.

    Right there is why I don't think it will catch on. People don't like the idea of paying until the end of time for something they have bought. Also, what happens when Napster 2.0 goes out of business, do your downloaded songs dissapear as well?
    • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cnkeller (181482) <(cnkeller) (at) (gmail.com)> on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:33AM (#7378067) Homepage
      ight there is why I don't think it will catch on. People don't like the idea of paying until the end of time for something they have bought

      I haven't read the artcile and I don't user napster because i am quite happy with iTunes. I think the key word in your comment is "bought". Sounds more like a damn rental to me. You are basically leasing the music....

      I happen to agree with you that very few people are going to be interested in renting a song.

  • by Chief Typist (110285) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:12AM (#7377865) Homepage
    From the article: I look forward to an even better digital music experience as the licensing hitches are resolved.

    And that's the beauty of the Apple solution: all of the licensing hitches have already been worked out. Consumers want predictability, and iTunes is the only one that provides it now.
  • Doomed project (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kethinov (636034) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:12AM (#7377871) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, Napster and all clones such as Itunes (we can debate who cloned who later) who are trying to sell music online are ultimately doomed to failure. P2P is the new radio; free music, and will always be considered so from here on out. No P2P service will ever be as successful as Kazaa or oldschool Napster until they realize that the lure of their product is its freedom. Pay for it though voluntary subscription (such as slashdot) and/or ads like cable television and be done with it. Music et al will never be as ridiculously profitable as it once was. The days when we pay per album and/or song have rapidly come to a close and I'll be damned if I ever see them come back.
    • So where will the new music come from? Will musicians just play and record and mix and produce music for free? So people can just download it for free?

      Here's a scenario that could have played out 40 years ago if Napster and Kazaa and downloaded music was around:

      John: The kids really dig our songs, we should write some more.

      Paul: I'd like to, but I don't have any flippin time. I have to work at me Dad's all day today and into the night. I want to get me a new flat.

      John: Me too, my Auntie is gettin on me
      • Re:Doomed project (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kethinov (636034) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:40AM (#7378137) Homepage Journal
        So where will the new music come from?
        Were the great classical composers driven by their own greed? No! We need to drop the notion that music is a business. It's not a business, it's an art form. Music can be profitable through advertising during its distribution, but only if it becomes popular. Are you an artist? Do you not like this idea? Too damn bad. More and more people agree with me every day. People think music should be legally free and it shall be one day.
    • Remember though, that the iTMS only exists to sell iPods, at least that's how Apple's executives are looking at it. It doesn't have to be profitable, just drive sales of the highly profitable iPod.
    • Re:Doomed project (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jpsowin (325530) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:52AM (#7378243) Homepage
      Yes, that must be why Itunes are selling so many songs and people are raving about it. Because it's doomed.
  • Ease of use (Score:5, Informative)

    by reptilicus (605251) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:13AM (#7377876)
    The big problem with Napster (and BuyMusic for that matter), and the reason iTunes surpasses both of them: Ease of Use. I don't want to have to read the fine print on every single song. I just want to find it and grab it:

    "Despite its flexibility, the service can also be confusing. Some songs in the Napster library can only be streamed, while others are only available for a 99-cent download, even if you're paying for the streaming service. Which songs fall into each category isn't clearly spelled out. Some users are liable to think they are signing up for unlimited access to the Napster library, only to find out that some tracks must be purchased separately."

    " I was listening to Lucinda Williams' album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road when I ran into a glitch. I could hear all of "Lake Charles," but only 30 seconds of "I Lost It," a song from the same album. It turns out "I Lost It" was only available if I opted for the a la carte feature. I either had to buy the track for 99 cents or be content hearing just 30 seconds of it. What a pain."
  • Licenses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dolo666 (195584) * on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:13AM (#7377878) Journal
    The Napster kinks in licenses and stuff like that are only a sign of how the record industry still hasn't embraced this age of electronic media.

    You'd think they'd be all into it, with the cost reduction for distrobution.

    I would think I'm not the only person in the world who clicks OK whenever I see a contract or license. To me, that long-winded drivel has no hold on my time. If Napster is saying they will require my first born child as future payment for the services, then they'll have to come through me to get it, contract or not.

    But that's not really what this is about. It's about record execs who haven't got the slightest idea how to integrate properly into a culture.

    We are the culture... The people.

    They (RIAA et al) are too busy trying to tell us that they are the culture, they are in control, when in fact that very notion of them having to tell people of this, is their undoing.

    Each artist or group might have certain wishes to deal with Napster. Napster likely had to make concessions to appease the powers that be.

    It's a side effect of a greater disorder. But does it make Napster bad? Prolly not.
    • Re:Licenses (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pauljlucas (529435) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:25AM (#7377992) Homepage Journal
      The Napster kinks in licenses and stuff like that are only a sign of how the record industry still hasn't embraced this age of electronic media.
      But the record industry has with the iTunes music store: it has uniform licensing for every song in the store from the big-5 labels. Why the industry hasn't done the same with Napster isn't clear. Maybe Steve took the label execs out to better places for lunch or something.
  • by Smack (977) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:13AM (#7377879) Homepage
    That is my biggest complaint. I decided to sign up for their premium service for a few months, since I was quitting eMusic anyway so the net cost was negligible. Once you join, many songs' icons change from "Buy song" to "Buy only", which means you can't stream or download them without paying $1. OTOH, there is a bunch of stuff that is streaming only. (For example, the Pet Sounds Sessions by the Beach Boys.) I don't think this is made sufficiently clear before you sign up, although I'm sure they would argue it's in the fine print somewhere.

    Also, just some more info on the tracks you can download on the $9.99 unlimited plan. If you view the file info in Windows Media Player, they are tagged in the DRM as "no transfer to portable", "no burn to CD", and with 6 week play expirations. Presumably that is renewed automatically if you keep up the subscription.
    • by back_pages (600753) <back_pages&cox,net> on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:19AM (#7377937) Journal
      This is precisely the complaint I heard from an early adopter. He said that he believed he was paying $10 for the total, complete, awesome, unrestricted unlimited plan only to find out that the music that he DID want to get either cost more, wouldn't stream, or was only a stream (I forget which he preferred, but either way the stuff he wanted was not available in his preferred format.)

      So I quote an enthusiastic customer commenting on Napster 2.0's payment scheme, "F### THAT." He called his credit card and issued a charge-back on the service for false advertising.

  • by DaneelGiskard (222145) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:14AM (#7377886) Homepage
    I did not test Napster's answer to the iPod, the Samsung Napster player. I only checked out the music service.

    Here are a few:
    click [typepad.com]
    click [image-acquire.com]
    click [twincities.com]

  • by carlcmc (322350) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:14AM (#7377891)
    While I understand the reason, I would find it extremely disappointing to hear a bunch of songs streamed and then stop subscribing and realize all that money had been in vain....

    I haven't downloaded music probably for over a year. Perhaps it says something about me, but as I age (28) I like less and less of whats out there and don't even have a desire to download it for free let alone for $.99.

    The only time any more that I will download music probably is for a song I remember from my teens or some classical music.

    I suppose the radio feature is useful (to get you hooked on new music and to get you to buy new songs).
  • by dark-br (473115) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:14AM (#7377894) Homepage
    2.0 little.
    2.0 late.
    2.0 bad.

  • by nucal (561664) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:14AM (#7377895)
    Here is a recent review from John Fried [philly.com] who compared the different sites head-to-head [philly.com]
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:15AM (#7377903) Journal
    And the number one reason is:
    "Stop paying the fee, and you don't get to keep the downloads."
    So, is it cheaper to pay $120 a year as a perpetual licensing fee or just go buy some CDs?
  • by groberts65 (261083) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:17AM (#7377917)
    Here's my review, which I attempted to post as a new topic but got denied....

    Below is a short review I have done of the three legit online music services I have tried - Rhapsody, iTunes, and Napster 2.

    Rhapsody [listen.com]

    As a s/w developer who sits in front of his computer all day, I'm a big fan of the online streaming services and a huge Rhapsody advocate. I consider it the best $10 that I spend a month and use it for at least 6 hrs a day M-F. I've also ripped my entire CD collection to a FireWire drive connected to a fileserver I have setup in my home network. In total, I have about 7000 mp3s
    ripped at 192kbps VBR which take up about 37GB of storage.

    But Rhapsody has it's shortcomings.....

    - no portable support

    - no way to play local media files

    - purchased music can be burned to a CD once and then it's gone

    - no one click album purchase

    I live with most of these by simply ripping the CDs I burn from Rhapsody which allows me to mix them with my local tracks and upload them to my Samsung YP-30SH MP3 player. I have also purchased the licensed version of RealOne (w/o all the subscription crap) to manage my local files. I'm not a big fan of Real the company but RealOne has great ID3 and file management capabilities. I've tried all of the others (e.g. MusicMatch) and I simply can't find another media player which does what RealOne does for me. I should mention that most of these capabilities came from RealJukebox which has then merged with RealPlayer to form RealOne. Unfortunately, it is now bordering on considerable bloatware and I fear that since Real has purchased listen.com (i.e. Rhapsody) they are planning on merging the Rhapsopdy client into it which will likely result in both clients becoming less usable.

    iTunes [apple.com]

    When iTunes for Windows launched, I checked it out from a curiosity perspective. The U/I is very well done as one would expect from Apple and the purchase process is seamless. Apple has made it very easy for people to spend money :) I also like the notion that my purchased music are simply DRM-protected local files and I can play/manage them along with my local files.

    But iTunes has it's shortcomings......

    - iPod-only support

    - no streaming service

    - AAC format which has very limited industry support

    I have seen so many messages blasting M$oft and WMA and DRM, and the same people giving accolades to Apple and iTunes. But from my perspective, iTunes/AAC is 10x more proprietary than WMA and Apple has not been anywhere near as forthcoming with developers as M$oft has been over WMA. There are at least a dozen MP3 players on the market supporting WMA and only one supporting AAC. It seems that since Apple is "cool", it's OK for them to be signicantly more proprietary than the "uncool" Microsoft.

    As far as DRM is concerned - yes, it's a pain, but get over it - it's not going away.

    Napster 2 [napster.com]

    So given my views on Rhapsody and iTunes, I was eagerly awaiting the launch of Napster 2. The advance information available seemed to indicate that it had everything I like about Rhapsody and more (e.g. portable support). I had decided that if it actually was what it's PR made it out to be, I'd bite the bullet and get a WMA-capable MP3 player.

    But boy was I wrong......

    I downloaded the Napster 2 client first thing yesterday morning and immediately felt a sense of deja-iTunes-vu. They seemed to have attempted to replicate the iTunes interface in almost every way but in a way that seems much more "scattered-brained". At this time, I'd like to say a word about these services' U/Is. Perhaps it's my old way of thinking, but I really like Rhapsody's album and artist-orientated U/I. Everything is laid out very logically and navigation among artists, albums, genres, related artists,
    etc. is v
    • there's only one WMA/DRM-compatible portable player -- the Samsung/Napster player. Try to play protected WMAs on any other plain WMA-compatible player and you're SOL.
      • Not true (Score:3, Informative)

        by Smack (977)
        Any SDMI-compliant WMA player should play the bought Napster tunes.

        I have tried it personally on a 2-3 year old Nike PSA Play 60 (which is really a Rio 600) and it worked perfectly. I did have to use Windows Media Player to do the transfer, but I have to use that to transfer MP3's anyway, since the Nike software sucks.
    • by pauljlucas (529435) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:38AM (#7378118) Homepage Journal
      iTunes/AAC is 10x more proprietary than WMA
      Check the facts [apple.com]:
      Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is at the core of the MPEG-4 and 3GPP specifications ... AAC was developed by the MPEG group that includes Dolby, Fraunhofer (FhG), AT&T, Sony, and Nokia ...
      AAC is an industry standard not under the control of Apple. WMA is a proprietary invention of Microsoft who own and control it totally. So how, exactly, is AAC more proprietary?
    • " - iPod-only support

      - no streaming service"

      Not quite. iTunes will support just about any device you can plug into the USB or firewire port. Did you notice the "Radio" link that brings you to streams? or the "open stream" command under the "advanced menu"?

  • Although I like the idea of having yet another music store available to me, I kinda wish this was done differently however.

    For one thing. I like P2P. I like it because I dont have to listen to what Roxio wants me to hear. I listen to what the fans want to hear. Now that this napster is no longer P2P it seems to me that this would limit what Music I can find on the service to what the RIAA is pimping in the stores currently rather than anything under the sun like Napster used to be.

    All I want it a P2P app
  • by bigwavejas (678602) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:17AM (#7377923) Journal
    U mean every mp3 I have is worth $1?!!

    CHA-CHING , I'm a millionaire. Y-E-S!

    /salute

    F the RIAA

    I bet I can get at least .50cents/ song at the Flea Market.

  • by bartash (93498) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:18AM (#7377927)
    PC Mag likes Napster too [pcmag.com]. But the user comments (at the bottom of the page) seem to disagree. PC Mag also has reviews of ITunes [pcmag.com] and MusicMatch [pcmag.com].
  • by dark-br (473115) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:19AM (#7377939) Homepage
    I won't even consider it until it's ($CURRENT_PRICE/2) and until the files are ($CURRENT_BITRATE*2). And until it's in (!($CURRENT_MEDIA_FORMAT)). Plus it only is going to have bands $BAD_BANDS[1]..$BAD_BANDS[134], which I don't listen too anyway.

    And they should have thought of this ($DATE-(rand())) ago.
  • by GreenCrackBaby (203293) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:20AM (#7377942) Homepage
    An industry leader has already emerged in the digital music business -- Apple's iTunes. They've set the bar and I'm not sure how that bar can be raised.

    Does this new Napster service offer anything better than iTunes? The article claims more songs are available using Napster, but then goes on to say that some are only available as streamed audio, and then only to those who pay the $10/month. Of the 500,000 songs, how many are truly available as downloadable tracks?

    iTunes, without requiring any purchases, comes with a few hundred radio stations, all of them free. Napster radio stations are only available to those who pay the $10/month (according to the article).

    So where's the innovation? The industry is struggling to catch up to Apple, and Apple has a huge lead. I can't think of any feature I'd like to see in iTunes that isn't already there, and what is there is done really well.
  • Hmm. Question: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:25AM (#7377991)
    For as long as you shell out the fee, you can download tracks and listen to them either online or offline. Stop paying the fee, and you don't get to keep the downloads. ... Some songs in the Napster library can only be streamed, while others are only available for a 99-cent download, even if you're paying for the streaming service.

    If you pay the 99 cents, can you keep that song forever?

    What happens if napster's drm servers go down or whatever? Can you still listen to the music you've bought? What are the restrictions, can you move bought songs between computers like with iTMS?
  • A fair review?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by beefdart (520839) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:27AM (#7378008) Homepage
    You think Wired is a big fan of Napster2 because Napster and Roxio are both huge sponsers of the website as well as the mag?
  • What about ...Aussies Do It Right: E-Voting [wired.com] ... seems more important to me. Isn't this news that matters.
  • Too bad the DRM problem only permits burning to CD or the Samsung player for music portability. Being stuck with the DRM problem kills it for an option for me. The burn, rip, mix, burn to MP3 uses way too many CDR's to make a full CDR of MP3's for my car.

    Maybe someday, MP3's will be avaliable for download again. Then I can download, make playlists, and burn to MP3 CD's for the car.

    I wonder if they are going to cry "PIRACY" for all the CDR's that are going to be burnt to RIP MIX BURN.

    To burn one full M
  • SELL OUTS!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mustangdavis (583344)
    Seriously ....

    They are using the identity of what used to represent freedom from the RIAA to make money, and basically, supporting the RIAA!!!

    This is a disgrace!

    I know that the musicians have a right to make moeny (although I still think it is a crock how the RIAA has blackmailed everyone and even more so how the musicians have basically turned their backs on their fans), but using the Napster name to support the RIAA is NOT RIGHT!!!

    Hell, just on the fact that Napster has also sold out to the RI
  • by aliens (90441) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:31AM (#7378046) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry, I'm not even an audiophile and I can hear a difference between a 128Kbps AAC and a FLAC. Yeah you can buy one song at a time. But that's only good for those pop singles.

    So for $10/album I get no media, no notes, and less quality. Or I can get a used CD for the same price/cheaper and rip to 256Kbps myself.

    Yeah I guess it saves me the trip into the hated sun world, but are people really finding this worth it?

    In other news iTunes is a great program. Some flaws, and it eats RAM, but still fun to use.
    • I'm sorry, I'm not even an audiophile and I can hear a difference between a 128Kbps AAC and a FLAC. Yeah you can buy one song at a time. But that's only good for those pop singles.

      What you say is true, but many people put convienience before quality. AAC, like MP3, is great for the the sort of bandwidth (DSL & cable) and storage that most people have. FLAC is of higher quality, but in my experience usually only reduces the size of the track by half. Maybe when we start getting Tebibyte HDs, and T2 pip
  • Streaming (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ceswiedler (165311) * <chris@swiedler.org> on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:33AM (#7378074)
    Flat-fee streaming is what I really wish iTunes had. I use Rhapsody because it lets me listen to anything they have through my computer for a flat monthly fee. Since my PC is hooked up to my stereo and I have a DSL connection, it's basically indistinguishable from playing local ripped tracks or CDs. But it won't rip tracks directly to MP3s (it requires you to burn a CD directly), won't play any local files, and is very Windows-only. If iTunes let me do the same streaming thing, I would not only sign up, but it would be one of the last reasons for me to give up my Windows desktop and get a Mac.

    Napster 2.0 seems to have something similar, but I don't like the fact that some songs are download-only. Perhaps I'll check it out though.
  • Unfortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThisIsFred (705426) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:37AM (#7378096) Journal
    I can't witness Napster's sleek new design, because it's a Windows-only client. That leaves me with these choices: Buy outrageously-priced CDs (haven't for two years and don't plan to until I see competitive pricing), "steal" music off of P2P (not my cup of tea), or use a competing distributor like Magnatune. I guess since Magnatune has streaming for previewing, competitive pricing, works with Linux (or any OS with a decent media player), and has no DRM, I will put up with their limited selection and they will get my money.

    It's pretty obvious that the major music industry distributors have one shared brain cell. The more they lobby, prosecute and price-fix, the less money they make off of potential buyers like me, who aren't "pirating", but are sick of taking collateral damage from the battle. It doesn't take an economics genius to realize that $10 is better than $0 (because I'm not paying $20 thankyouverymuch). This is how it works RIAA: You don't call the shots, the consumer does. If you want my money, deliver what I want or get nothing.

    BTW, does customs allow CDRWs to be shipped from Canada? I'd like to not fund the ongoing RIAA battle, because I have nothing to do with it. I figure it's time now to actively avoid funding this nonsense. I've bought the thousands of dollars worth of CDs in the past. What did I get for it? A 100% increase in music prices, only top 40 garbage to choose from, DRM controls, a tax on an unrelated item (I burn data CDs, not illegal copies of songs), ISP witch hunts, and legal maneuvering to stamp out viable competitive pricing through better technology.

    I think from now on, whenever I spent $20 on entertainment other than on RIAA's partners in crime, I'll send them a nice e-mail telling them that they just lost out on profit because their products are not a good value, and they refuse to bargain with consumers. They may laugh at it now, but in three years, when their sales have dropped off 25 per cent, it won't be so funny anymore.
  • I can't get the mantra out of my head:

    Napster Bad!
    Napster Bad!
    Napster Bad!
    Napster Bad! ...
  • Quityerbitchin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantax (12175) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:40AM (#7378136) Homepage
    To everyone who says that Napster should just pack up and leave since iTunes already does everything they do and better, get educated. I'd rather a market in which music distribution systems like iTunes and Napster compete because guess what, competition is what keeps these companys developing. If iTunes becomes the sole provider of legal music over the internet, no one has won except Apple since they would no longer have to put as much effort into R&D, which is both expensive and time consuming. Lack of competition often leads to stagnation in the realm of technology, just look at IE as of late.

    This argument is ignoring either one of their merits as companies/products, but the point is, don't attack Napster or any other company in this market just because they aren't iTunes and do not attach your pride and ego to iTunes as its just a product designed to be sold, just like Napster.
  • by MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:09PM (#7378381)
    I signed up early to be "notified" when Napster was released, being promised 5 "free downloads". I got my email, followed its link and directions, and downloaded my 5 songs.

    And noticed a nice credit card charge for the songs appeared in my statement.

    Thanks, Napster. Goodbye, Napster.
  • by groomed (202061) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:18PM (#7378461)
    Look, I can appreciate how thrilling it must be to all the nouveau-Appleians to finally have a computer that does what you want, but by now I've gotten fairly fed up with the non-stop gushing on Slashdot. It's gotten to the point that I'm waiting for the headline "Steve Jobs Takes Shit, Finds Gold Nugget".

    To some of us, none of this stuff is new, you see. We've always chosen our computers based on our needs and interests of the moment, rather than going by some company or market diktat, and as a result our computers have always done pretty much what we want, seamlessly and flawlessly. Back in the day we have all had our love affairs with Sinclairs, Tandys, Macs, Acorns, Amigas, Ataris, BeBoxes -- until one day the man with the axe came and obliterated our dreams. So we moved on.

    So I know what it's like to be in love. The sky seems a little bit bluer, the sun a little bit brighter, and the hormonal imbalance makes that you don't even notice when you stub your toe on the table leg. And its okay to bore your friends to death with tales about how pretty she is, and flawless, and how her shit doesn't stink. That's what friends are for.

    But please. Guys. I really just don't want to see you get hurt when she dumps you for some other target demographic.
  • Subscription ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Durandal64 (658649) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:21PM (#7378479)
    From the article ...
    Stop paying the fee, and you don't get to keep the downloads.
    Thanks but no thanks. I like buying music, not renting it.
  • Uh, ok. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ryanw (131814) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:55PM (#7378780)
    a sleek design and makes exploring new music a pleasure.
    I guess you could call looking for music in a browser with 8 funky frames a "sleek design". And if you like hunting through lists that are unalphabetized and extremely slow a "pleasure" then, enjoy!

    I personally thought it looked horrible and was very unfunctional. The lists aren't in any particular order when you browse by genre. The interface is pretty much a nightmare. It looks like it was put together by a bunch of monkeys on typewriters [wired.com]. I'm glad that Microsoft is so worried about the consumer's having options [microsoft.com] but for some reason it just seems like Microsoft really doesn't care. I know that is hard to believe, but I don't think there are any plans for Napster to be on MacOSX ever. Strange huh?

  • by adpowers (153922) on Monday November 03, 2003 @01:13PM (#7378918)
    Personally, I am a fan of Eugene's Half arsed Napster 2.0 rundown [appleinsider.com] over at the Apple Insider message board.

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