Print 28 comment(s) - last by Alexvrb.. on May 20 at 4:07 PM

New Napster offers $5 monthly price for streaming and five MP3 downloads

Napster was among the first of the peer-to-peer sites where music fans traded songs amongst each other and raised the ire of the RIAA and Metallica. Napster was also among the first to succumb to the legal crusade waged by the RIAA and remade itself into an unsuccessful “pay for” music site.

After more iterations and being purchased last year by Best Buy, Napster has again remade itself into something that Best Buy hopes will be successful and profitable -- the purchase of Napster cost Best Buy $121 million in cash.

The latest offering from Napster gives subscribers unlimited music streaming from a computer for $5 per month and provides users with five included DRM-free MP3 downloads each month.

The streaming service will only be offered to subscribers as long as they pay the monthly charge, but the five download tracks each month can be kept even if the service is cancelled.

Napster CEO Chris Gorog said in a statement, "There's no need to settle for 30-second clips to decide if you want to buy a song. For five bucks now you can have access to our entire music catalog and get five MP3s to add to your permanent collection."

The streaming library covers all of the major record labels and artists according to Napster and the catalog has over seven million songs total. The DRM-free tracks are compatible with the iPod, iPhone and any other MP3 capable device.

Best Buy SVP of entertainment Julie Owen said, "A decade ago, Napster revolutionized the way people discovered and enjoyed music. The brand that started it all is shaking things up again with a new service that provides music lovers continued access to the entertainment experience they've come to expect of Napster and Best Buy."

The new Napster service is available now to U.S. residents.

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By FITCamaro on 5/18/2009 12:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what the possibilities would be with a car computer and a EVDO cell phone. Could connect to the streaming service through the cell phone and stream all the music you wanted through your car.

RE: Interesting
By tastyratz on 5/18/2009 12:34:22 PM , Rating: 4
I think the thousand dollar monthly usage bill at the end of the month might partially negate the savings of a 5 dollar plan.

RE: Interesting
By Motoman on 5/18/2009 12:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you had an unlimited plan.

RE: Interesting
By peritusONE on 5/18/2009 12:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Is there even anyone who pays by usage anymore?

RE: Interesting
By FITCamaro on 5/18/2009 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon does have a 5GB cap on their data plans. So yes you'd have to watch your usage. But a streaming service probably isn't more than 320 kbps. So as long as you weren't in the car for hours a day, it should be fine. Of course I wouldn't advocate getting a data plan just for this.

RE: Interesting
By TomCorelis on 5/18/2009 1:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
I like to stream (radio station) @ 128kbps while driving around using the shoutcast app on my iPhone. It works well enough (provided you have adequate 3G coverage), and my bill is the same it ever was. At that rate you are only consuming about one megabyte per minute.

RE: Interesting
By unableton on 5/19/2009 2:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
Bassdrive in the car? Nice!

Has your insurance gone up yet? lol

RE: Interesting
By rs1 on 5/18/2009 3:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
You can do that already with Pandora. For free.

I just don't see how Napster/Best Buy thinks they can compete with other services that deliver basically the same thing. The only thing that differentiates Napster's offering is the 5 downloads per month, which is almost laughable for being so miniscule.

RE: Interesting
By Alexvrb on 5/20/2009 4:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing that differentiates Napster's offering is the 5 downloads per month, which is almost laughable for being so miniscule.
Are you that bad at math? How much will 5 DRM free songs cost you elsewhere? Rougly 5 bucks? Gee, it seems like if you actually download five songs a month, the streaming service is practically free. Gosh, how dare they only give you a miniscule $5 worth of music for your $5 monthly fee!

By Golgatha on 5/18/2009 12:01:30 PM , Rating: 3
a subscription model that actually sounds quite reasonable. $5 for all the streaming I want and 5 DRM free downloads per month sounds excellent provided the kept MP3s are of decent quality (VBR or 256k bitrate please oh please).

If they would take it one step further and add genre channels (something like digital music channels from Uverse, DirectTV, digital Cable, etc), I wouldn't think twice about signing up.

RE: Wow...
By Golgatha on 5/18/2009 12:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
"The MP3s will be DRM-free and "CD quality," and will come from Napster's extensive MP3 library, which includes music from all major music labels and a healthy selection of indies. As for the streaming selection, users will be able to listen to more than 7 million songs to their hearts' content. The company is also offering over 60 commercial-free radio stations and 1,400 "expertly programmed" playlists, if you're in the mood to hand your music selection over to Napster."

Well, I'm sold...

By SavagePotato on 5/18/2009 12:05:07 PM , Rating: 5
The funnest thing about the original napster used to be the cesspool of humanity that was napster chat, and the time spent on it while waiting for songs to complete on dial up.

Sounds good to me.
By Spivonious on 5/18/2009 11:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
Buy 5 songs and get streaming free.

RE: Sounds good to me.
By AntiM on 5/18/2009 2:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
The only potential problem I can forsee is that they make you jump through hoops to cancel your service. Other than that, sounds like a good deal. I will wait for the reviews before taking the plunge.

Not bad.
By RjBass on 5/18/2009 12:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
This to me doesn't seem like to bad of a deal.

Back in the 90's my buddies and I would drive for an hour and a half to a Best Buy to go cd shopping as the cd selection at the military shops were not so good. With the advent of the MP3 and thus the decline of standard music sales, stores like Best Buy have been trying to find ways to bolster their bad music sales. With this plan, I think Best Buy may have finally found a way to get it done. Mix a known and respected name with a fair and reasonable prices and things could work out just fine.

RE: Not bad.
By jonmcc33 on 5/19/2009 6:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
Back when I was in the military I used to get music and movies that were not available at my local BX. No driving required.

Napster curse?
By JakLee on 5/18/2009 2:21:34 PM , Rating: 4
This actually doesn't sound like a bad deal at all. Doesn't personally fill my needs but I can understand that it could fill many others. However every time I hear that Napster is "back" I smile. They just cannot seem to make anything legal work out for them in the end. I think too many people remember when Napster meant free.....

small print!!
By anotherdude on 5/18/2009 8:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
The $5 dollar monthly subscription is a special offer—get it while you can.

After the $5 deal expires then you get to call Napster during their 'office hours' and explain to them why you want to quit.

RE: small print!!
By bodar on 5/18/2009 11:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
Please note: MP3 credits that are included with a subscription membership do not roll over to the next billing period—you must use them during the plan period.

You forgot this part, which I find just as important. God forbid you be able to buy 1 album every 2 months with this service. So how about this Zunepass I keep hearing about?...

"Napster baaaaddd."

Not available now
By joey2264 on 5/18/2009 12:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure when it is going to be available, but it certainly isn't now. I'll check it out when it is.

By afkrotch on 5/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: Sweet
By callmeroy on 5/18/2009 12:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
Are you really that cheap (or pathetic -- I can't decide which) to settle for voice recording the streamed content just to not pay more than $5 a month?

RE: Sweet
By HostileEffect on 5/18/2009 2:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
Someone will probably make a stream ripper for Napster, its only a matter of time.

RE: Sweet
By anotherdude on 5/18/2009 2:50:18 PM , Rating: 2
*cough* tunebite *cough*

RE: Sweet
By ctodd on 5/18/2009 3:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
There are already a few recorders out there. Although I find it a waste of time recording songs you probably will forget you have and never listen to again. Been there, done that. Well, I'm old so maybe that is my real problem.

RE: Sweet
By callmeroy on 5/19/2009 10:40:52 AM , Rating: 2
Well i'm not that old age wise ---but I have to tell you, my views on a lot of things these days makes me think I should be 20 years older than I am...i guess my folks did raise me old fashioned....

Anyway...the meat of my point is --- i'm one of those rare folks , it seems, that values my free time heavily. If something that is just for my entertainment or a hobby or whatever takes too much time to get done - I mostly just do without (normally I'd just find something else to do).

This whole to buy music, to not rip music, kind of thing -- falls into that mindset above. Either its cheap, simple and fast or its not worth it.

By FingerMeElmo87 on 5/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: Really???
By kmmatney on 5/18/2009 10:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
Although you got voted down, you have somewhat of a point:

the purchase of Napster cost Best Buy $121 million in cash.

I can't believe that anyone would pay that much! They could have just called it "Best Buy Music Service" and paid nothing. Only a bunch of morons would pay $121M for Napster.

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