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!

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