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Rhapsody To Acquire Napster

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the should-they-call-it-napsody-or-rhapster dept.

Businesses 59

tekgoblin writes "Earlier today Rhapsody, the biggest premium on-demand music service in the U.S., announced that they would be acquiring Napster and finalizing the purchase of the company by the end of November. Best Buy, a huge global name in consumer electronics retail, is the current owner of Napster. Best Buy will only be keeping a minority stake after the sale of the company, while Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers and additional assets."

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59 comments

All Napster subscribers (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593410)

So they're getting Jim AND Randy?

Re:All Napster subscribers (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593536)

Sure. Jim's too blitzed to realize it's not 1999 anymore, and they just offered Randy a cheeseburger.

Re:All Napster subscribers (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37595138)

Hey now, don't forget little Sally! Little Sally thinks having this "Napster stuff" makes her a part of this "Internet thingie" so she is VERY loyal! Hell a single Sally is probably worth THREE Randys and possibly TWO Jims too boot! That means she alone has GOT to be worth a dinner for two at olive garden, surely that is worth shelling out good money for napster, right?

Seriously though Napster has been dead as a doornail for over a decade, why anyone would care anymore is beyond me. It reminds me of one of those oldies bands where the original guys have been dead and gone for ages but they just replaced them with some other guys that had nothing to do with the original and kept going. The "real" Napster died along with AudioGalaxy (remember them? I miss them) at the end of the 90s. This is just some lame service they stuck the Napster name on, kinda like how Yahoo bought the MusicMatch name to stick on their music service (which promptly died) just so it would have a name folks would vaguely remember. Between iTunes, Amazon, and streaming radio is there anybody that actually uses this crap anymore?

Re:All Napster subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37601946)

Hey now, don't forget little Sally!

Fail.

Sure. Jim's too blitzed to realize it's not 1999 anymore, and they just offered Randy a cheeseburger

Sure... However I suspect that Bubbles still has a can-tenna pointed across the trailer park in order to pick up a signal so that he can order kitty-food. ...And he's probably still on Napster as well so that he can upload things to Julian's Archos in his Vette. 0.o

Re:All Napster subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37595762)

Freedom 35!

Big news (2)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593422)

This would have been big news... ten years ago. =P

Re:Big news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37594308)

You just hang in there, 'cause around 2021 they're planning to buy Pirate Bay!

Re:Big news (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37594440)

This would have been big news... ten years ago. =P

Yes, if we'd been talking about the original- and long-defunct- original Napster (which was entering its death throes at this point a decade back).

Basically, Roxio bought the name after the original owners went bankrupt, and used it to rebrand their paid music service Pressplay. From then on, it's been "Napster" in name only. It's just another music service that we probably wouldn't be even discussing if it wasn't wearing the name of the otherwise unrelated famous original.

Amazing! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593460)

I didn't even know Napster was still around ... or relevant for that matter.

Well, as long as there continues to be competition for iTunes, I guess it's a good thing.

Re:Amazing! (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593720)

Every time I see one of these mergers this [penny-arcade.com] comes to mind.

Well, that and the Looney Tunes cliche of two characters grabbing each other in mid-air before plummeting to the earth below.

Re:Amazing! (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593778)

Well, as long as there continues to be competition for iTunes, I guess it's a good thing.

The only ones that think Rhapsody and Napster are competition for iTunes are Rhapsody and Napster.

Re:Amazing! (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593794)

I didn't realize either of these were still around.

I thought they'd been replaced by better services such as Rdio and Pandora.

Re:Amazing! (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37594338)

I still buy tunes off of Napster. No DRM and reasonably priced. And no monthly fee to do it. There may be better options out there for some, but it has always worked for me so I haven't bothered looking.

Re:Amazing! (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37594510)

I didn't even know Napster was still around ... or relevant for that matter.

They're not, and they're not.

Some other company bought the name when the "real" Napster went bankrupt a decade or so ago, and used it to rebrand a crappy early "legal" music service. That's about it.

"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593486)

You're not the customer. You're the product.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593518)

I would love to hear from who actually still uses these services... anyone? Also, that's typically how mergers work, beats getting your internet / cell phone / TV service getting cut off one day for seemingly no reason.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593592)

I'm subscribed to both. I like Rhapsody's iPhone player, library, and playlist options. Napster has different music, and since you get MP3 downloads along with access to their entire libary, in my case it paid for itself.

Both Rhapsody are essentially 'music on demand', and in my case, where I work across different computers and like finding new music all the time, it works out pretty well for me. I don't recommend it for everybody, but I don't understand why it's poo-poo'd so much, either.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593614)

Ok...let me get this straight.

There's actually people out there that pay for these streaming (or otherwise) services?

Interesting...I've yet to meet anyone that pays for subscriptions to these things.

With the free alternative...I gotta ask. Why?

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (3, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593754)

- I pick what I want to listen to when I want to listen to it.

- The songs are cached so I can listen to them off-line.

- 10 seconds after the desire to hear a particular song not on my playlist I'm listening to it.

- Lots of comedy albums etc, too.

- Rhapsody's music search has been pretty darned good at finding songs I want to hear.

- If I pop onto a new machine I just log in and start listening to my music right away.

- With Napster you pay $60 for a year's access to their music and you get 60 mp3 downloads.

- No ads. Rhapsody's music store recommends songs/albums all the time but there are not banner ads or audio ads.

Show me a free alternative that covers all of these bases (excluding the Mp3 one...) and I'd be happy to try it out.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593798)

Adblock + www.grooveshark.com should satisfy most of your needs for free, I believe. I use Grooveshark whenever I want to hear a song that I don't already have an MP3 of, or to preview an album which I am interested in obtaining.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593828)

Does it have an offline mode? Thanks, man.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593986)

Ah, I forgot about that bullet point in your list. No, no offline mode that I am aware of.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37598324)

Does it have an offline mode? Thanks, man.

Well, that's what the 6000 or so mp3's I have on my ipod are for....

:)

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37595284)

Grooveshark is so bad. Finding music is difficult and the interface is bad. Also, I think that grooveshark's library size is too small (and seems to have gotten smaller over the last 4 or so years).

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593830)

I concur, I use Spotify which is very similar. I disliked it when I tried it with ad support, but earlier this year I just decided to try subscribing (to try it on my phone and the "Linux preview" version), and I love it.

Even before Spotify I did actually buy my MP3s though.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593836)

Show me a free alternative that covers all of these bases (excluding the Mp3 one...) and I'd be happy to try it out.

You could go with thepiratebay.org and sparkleshare.org (dropbox alternative). Maybe some more setting up and choosing and downloading up front, but it's free and you get as many mp3:s as you can eat.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593976)

I used to do something like that yonks ago. One advantage that made it worthwhile for me was that I don't have to maintain a collection, just remember my login.

Keep in mind that on any given day I could be listening from 1 of 4 machines, which is mainly why I say it's not for everyone.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593786)

It's easy to use. If I want a song I can start listening to it my phone (they have a pretty good app) within however long it takes me to type it out + 5 seconds, no torrents, no finding the right youtube version etc.. I can download it and listen to it even while offline, and it has a huge collection of songs. Also my $30 mp3 player (sansa clip+) is fully compatible with the service which is an added bonus.

The only complaint I have against them is their awful desktop app (though their web app makes it forgivable). But you have to use their desktop app to update your mp3 player. Their phone and web apps are both great though.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

cornface (900179) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593804)

It is worth the small monthly fee to not have to deal with downloading and retagging files.

  I mostly just use the "to go" Rhapsody service. I don't have any complaints about it. It is equivalent to Netflix streaming if you could dump as many movies as you wanted to your hard drive whenever you wanted and they had basically every movie every created available.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

egranlund (1827406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593812)

With the free alternative...I gotta ask. Why?

It's only $5 a month, and it's easier than pirating.

You get consistent quality and can listen and acquire new songs on pretty much any internet enabled device.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (2)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593952)

The only decent free streaming service that I'm aware of is Pandora. Which is great, when you don't want to micromanage what you're listening to (particularly since you can't). I subscribe to Rhapsody because I can create a playlist of exactly what songs I want to hear, listen to almost anything on a whim, and I don't have to have the songs on my phone first. Their library isn't exhaustive (whose is?), but it's pretty good for what you get, and certainly more than what I could store on my phone.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37595040)

Rhapsody is awesome. Design your own radio stations, offline play (I build a new workout playlist every week) without buying tracks, great selection, etc. It's fast, and unlike Pandora (which I also pay for), you can choose exactly what you want. Build a playlist with every Steve Earle album, then cache it offline on my phone? No problem.

Seriously, it's the best music-related $10/month I spend.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37595708)

I've been a paying Rhapsody user for over 5 years paying $15/month. I have unlimited access to the entire catalog. I can listen to that catalog on any internet connected computer (Linux included) and I can load up to 3 portable devices with as much music as they can hold. For me, that is two Nexus S phones each capable of 16GB each (the songs work with or without a network connection on the phone), and a 16GB Phillips MP3 player.
Basically, I pay $15 a month for three of us to have unlimited drag and drop music that we can listen to at any time.
The negatives
- I don't "own" the music which is fine but $15 a month for the access seems fair to me, that's about one CD per month. Hell, I pay over $100 for access to cable TV so this seems like a deal.
- The native Windows Rhapsody software have not been the greatest over the years but it does work and does automatically synchronize the devices when they are attached (or the phones when they have a cell/wi-fi connection). The playlists are stored at Rhapsody so they are available anywhere to listen to or edit from any web browser.
- The Rhapsody software and music/radio channels are lame for finding new music. I listen to a lot of techno/downbeat/chill-out/house etc and use Pandora mostly. When something comes up that I like, I fire up Rhapsody, search for it and add it to one of my playlists. The next time my phone or portable player is attached to Rhapsody, it downloads that song to the device.

Having Pandora and internet radio access on those same smartphones that I have Rhapsody on does bring up some redundancy but at this time, the $15/month still is worth it to me. Time will tell.

   

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37598898)

I use Napster. The reason is simple, I can still use Napster for unlimited free MP3 downloads (after the subscription fee, of course).

How? Download the Napster DRM-encoded track. Then run it through MuvAudio. (There are other free options (I got my copy free through TrialPay), but they don't keep the ID3 info). Unlimited mp3s with a small subscription fee.

Napster also has an Android app now, so I have music when I commute.

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593810)

You're not the customer. You're the product.

Good, good, almost there... I just need one more person to repeat their catch-phrase-o-matic Instant Dogma(tm) anywhere in my presence and I'll officially stop giving a shit about it...

Re:"Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers" (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37603372)

Nope. I don't subscribe to anything. I don't need services, all I need is tools. While I may want the occasional product, at least that can be re-used or sold/passed on, unlike a service that can be snatched away and take all of its wares with it.

Time flies (2)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593526)

I remember when Best Buy had some kind of partnership with Rhapsody. Then they dumped Rhapsody and went with Napster. Now they're dumping Napster off on the company they originally dumped.

in related news, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593532)

napster exists.

Napster? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593582)

Cool! My dad can finally download 8-tracks legally!

8-tracks (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593764)

Cool! My dad can finally download 8-tracks legally!

Not quite. None of the downloads contain the mid song fade out, the THUNK noise, and then the song fading back in. Its not quite the same experience. ;-)

Re:8-tracks (1)

titanium93 (839011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37597168)

Cool! My dad can finally download 8-tracks legally!

Not quite. None of the downloads contain the mid song fade out, the THUNK noise, and then the song fading back in. Its not quite the same experience. ;-)

That's OK, My dad is so old his brain does that for him.

Re:8-tracks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37598282)

I've been looking for a sample of that noise for years !

Never should have thrown out my "trusty" old 8 track (even though it broke)

They should rename & rebrand the service... (1)

Capeman (589717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593584)

Why still use the name Napster? It may have worked around 2003 by confusing people thinking it was the same old service but now legal, but this isn't 2003 anymore.

flogging a dead horse (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593586)

How much longer will the zombie corpse of Napster be flogged? Just let the damn thing die already.

Re:flogging a dead horse (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593922)

How much longer will the zombie corpse of Napster be flogged? Just let the damn thing die already.

IIRC it takes 3 to 10 years for zombies to disintegrate depending on the environment, plus the activity level of the zombie accelerates things. Of course colder climates with long freezes really lengthen the process. Napster is headquartered in Los Angeles so the hot dry climate could suggest something closer to 10 years. Thanks to Max Brooks for his research. ;-)

Spotify does it right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593840)

I've used both of these services, and Spotify is an overall better experience. Not just because it's free, but because it's a better, nicer looking, easier to use client. Well, ok, being free doesn't hurt either.

Wait, what? (2)

Lose (1901896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37594024)

Napster isn't dead yet? That's almost as surprising as Rhapsody not being dead yet!

I look at this more as a desperate merger than "omg Rhapsody is getting ALL the Napster user base!"

10 years later (1)

Guiness17 (606444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37596114)

Incredible that this topic attracts a total of 51 comments a couple of hours after being posted. Has anything lost relevance as quickly as it has. Ok. Maybe Nortel.

This is nothing new for Napster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37617812)

Napster sold out years ago.

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