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Napster returns to free music with ad-supported site

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, May 1, 2006
News Categories: Digital Media

Facing Apple’s increasing dominance in the digital music world, Napster has shifted to an advertising-supported model that allows visitors to its website to listen to any of the 2 million songs in its catalog for free. But unlike the original Napster, which famously offered unauthorized song downloads, visitors can currently only listen to a song five times—after that, the track must be purchased for 99 cents or visitors must sign up for a subscription plan ($10-$15/month). “Napster clearly had to find something different,” says American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy. “But until the device market for non-iPods picks up, Napster faces an uphill battle.”

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Comments

1

This is new!

Posted by hoho on May 1, 2006 at 7:58 AM (PDT)

2

Gatta say its pretty sweet so far and with my wide open musical tastes I don’t think I could ever listen to each album once let alone 5 times.

Posted by nosedive51 on May 1, 2006 at 8:56 AM (PDT)

3

Dear Napster,

Please give up. You’ve already lost.

Thanks.
Everyone else in the world.

Posted by Kevin on May 1, 2006 at 12:20 PM (PDT)

4

Kinda funny how Disney is one of the sponsors.

Posted by Geffrey on May 1, 2006 at 12:36 PM (PDT)

5

Allo
The Napster is good and I am soon to be doing the linking of the songs to the web page which is belonging to me


Go Napster!

Posted by Cotten on May 1, 2006 at 12:52 PM (PDT)

6

now before i download this, can these tracks be burned after a single listen and thus stripped of their DRM, and then loaded to iTunes?

Posted by Bradley on May 1, 2006 at 1:11 PM (PDT)

7

In other news, sales and downloads of audio capture program increase.

Posted by smorr on May 1, 2006 at 2:17 PM (PDT)

8

i wonder if i could use napster and then just find a program to record the audio thats playing smile....NOT

Posted by jfriend33 on May 1, 2006 at 5:14 PM (PDT)

9

I’m trying it out right now, and the audio quality’s not something to get too excited about—definitely not CD-quality or anything. This is more Napster’s way to attract people to its subscription services than to really promote free music.

Posted by MICHAE2414 on May 1, 2006 at 8:33 PM (PDT)

10

yeah but why go to the hassle to record it when you could just download it illegally from limewire?  I think napster realizes that very few people are going to be recording it using a program.

Posted by dave on May 1, 2006 at 8:34 PM (PDT)

11

The mess-up is that this is US only and that really ticks me off. iTunes isn’t US only and that’s what differentiates the two.

Posted by Simran on May 2, 2006 at 1:05 AM (PDT)

12

Can anyone tell me how good the audio quality is? FM radio? *Telephone speaker* quality?

This seems like a really nice way to preview CDs before buying and/or. . .uhh. . .illegally downloading. Still, if you’re going to buy an $18 CD or use up your bandwidth this seems like a good way to know what you’re in for. [Although, if the audio quality is crap, it’s not a good tool at all: crappy audio quality can make good songs sound horrible.]

Posted by JoshSpazJosh on May 2, 2006 at 7:16 AM (PDT)

13

I agree with comment #3—absolutely too little too late.

Posted by andrew Chasnoff on May 3, 2006 at 5:19 PM (PDT)

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