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The Nine Lives of Napster

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the plz-die-thx dept.

Music 309

lisa langsdorf writes "There's an interesting article on BusinessWeek.com today about Napster's race to gain greater market share in the music download business. According to a recent study, Apple has 75% of the pay for music download market, but Napster could soon gain more market share due to a new upcoming market push. BusinessWeek says: 'Napster could start to increase market share in the more profitable business of selling monthly subscriptions, where customers can listen to -- but not own -- as many songs as they want each month for $9.95. While Napster is far behind RealNetworks' Rhapsody service, AOL's MusicNet, and others, it's taking the lead again in the old Napster's stomping ground: college campuses.'"

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309 comments

Don't forget... (-1, Troll)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443955)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

What amazes me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444313)

Is how a story like this generated over 800 comments, yet discovering life on mars apparently isn't that important to Slashdot.

Re:What amazes me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444406)

is that ur an asshole, this story has 88 comments

People who pay for music are fags. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8443956)

Download it for free on p2p.

Does anyone know (5, Insightful)

namidim (607227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443970)

How a monthly subscribtion eventually filters down to the artists? It seems such a system would make it hard to do the "for each time a user listens to X's song they get hit with a bat by the RIAA" analysis.

Re:Does anyone know (5, Funny)

skink1100 (259238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443995)

> How a monthly subscribtion eventually filters down to the artists?

The artists get a monthly "attaboy" form letter from the RIAA.

S

Re:Does anyone know (1)

Darth23 (720385) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444234)

>>>The artists get a monthly "attaboy" form letter from the RIAA.

True, but the artists then have the cost associated with 'ego aggrandizement' deducted from their payments from the record companies.

Re:Does anyone know (3, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444278)

The artists get a monthly "attaboy" form letter from the RIAA.

Which, knowing how the RIAA works, probably says, "Your $350 monthly membership dues must be paid in full by tomorrow, or we will not forward your $9.37 royalty check this month."

Re:Does anyone know (5, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444118)

How a monthly subscribtion eventually filters down to the artists?

That is an excellent point and might I add another. It seems the public wants, no, demands portability with their music. Are you supposed to only listen to Napster's offerings on your computer or do they have some DMX/Napster thing-a-majig coming? And if so we are back to "How do we pay the artist?".

just my thoughts....

Cool... (2, Insightful)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443973)

Because as we all know if you can listen to it...then you can record it :) Not that i would do such a thing...but im sure somebody here can figure out the end run on this model :)

Re:Cool... (2, Funny)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443990)

Yes. And then you have a hug WAV the quality of a 128 Kbps WMA, or you have an mp3 whose quality can be compared to a robot fscking your ear.

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444403)

It is very simple. Just open the tracks in windows media player, and record the sound coming out your sound card to an mp3 (there are many programs that do this). You can even transfer the track information to the id3 tag with relative ease. You could do all this in batch as you sleep at night. I'm not so sure this is legal though...

Sorry... (3, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443983)

..but I am entirely uninterested in NOT owning my music. I like Apple's model a lot. And, thanks to Pepsi, I've even bought some songs from them now and it works wonderfully. If I had a job, I'd probably be buying music from them on a regular song-by-song basis. But I don't. So for now, I use bottle caps with codes that my girlfriend gives me. :-)

Re:Sorry... (3, Insightful)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444120)

I forsee that I'll be about as interested in owning music as I am in owning an encyclopedia. Welcome to the on demand world.

Re:Sorry... (2, Insightful)

phatsharpie (674132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444343)

Hmm... But what if you have to pay $9.95 a month (on top of your ISP charges) for said encyclopedia?

-B

Re:Sorry... (5, Insightful)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444353)

I forsee that I'll be about as interested in owning music as I am in owning an encyclopedia. Welcome to the on demand world.

I didn't read the article, nor do I have any plans on checking out the service. Having said that, this is a pretty lame analogy for most of us. I can't recall the last time I wanted to jam out with a good article on the Vietnam War while cruising up highway 280 to san francisco. But, when I feel like listening to Front 242 (hello 90's music) and putting the transmission in to Sport mode, thank god I have my iPod and a non-RF interface. And when was the last time you wanted to share a good piece of reference material at a party?

Let's face it, a lot of things *may* work on demand (movies seem to be what most people think of), but music is something that people like to share in a portable fashion: in the car, at a party, on the boat, wherever you spend your time.

Re:Sorry... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444386)

What does on-demand get you, really? It depends on your listening habits. Let's say you are starting from a blank slate, and have no music.

After three years of subscribing to Napster, you are still no better off than you were when you first started. You have paid out $360.

If you had spent this money with Apple, you'd have 360 songs on your hard drive, that would be in a lossy format, but otherwise yours to do with as you please.

If you had spent this money on CDs, you'd have around 25 albums, or approximately 300 songs. These songs would be completely unrestricted in what you could do with them, be in a non-lossy format, and able to be stored in a reasonably secure manner.

With the case of Napster, you end up with nothing, and they could go out of business at any time. However, you get to hear a wide variety of songs.

With the case of Apple, you end up with a lower-quality format than CDs, but you get the files to keep. You start out with a small selection of songs, but it widens each time you spend money. If your hard drive crashes, you've lost them all, unless you back up. If you back them up to CD, you should be aware that CDRs have a dramatically lower life than silver CDs.

With the case of CDs, you keep a high-quality copy of the songs that belong to you, they last much longer than CDRs, and are less susceptible to scratches/sulight/etc. However, you have to go outdoors to buy them, or wait for them to be delivered. There is the same problem as Apple, in that you start of with a limited selection of songs, but this constantly grows.

So basically, if you only listen to a few albums at a time, and you want to own your music collection, then Napster is right out. Apple is cheaper, but CDs have significant benefits. Apple is more suited to the impulse buy than CDs (when you are sitting in front of your computer, of course).

But you need to look at the wider picture. The people who want a constantly changing selection of songs, or to listen to stuff that was released just the other day, already have something to satisfy those urges - radio. Given the combination of radio and Apple/CDs, it's very difficult to see what value Napster is offering.

Re:Sorry... (3, Interesting)

shaper (88544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444426)

I forsee that I'll be about as interested in owning music as I am in owning an encyclopedia. Welcome to the on demand world.

False comparison, not insightful. I don't read the encyclopedia while driving to work in the morning. I don't read the encyclopedia while jogging or riding a bike. I don't read the encyclopedia for hours on end just for simple entertainment. I don't go to concerts to watch a live encyclopedia performance.

And like a LOT of other people, I would not pay for a subscription to an encyclopedia, either.

Re:Sorry... (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444138)

Don't forget 7-11. They have Pepsi cups for their fountain drinks. I'm a coke drinker, but I use the 32 oz pepsi cup and still get the free songs from pepsi, all whilst drinking my coke :-D

that's smart thinking (1)

Rick and Roll (672077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444216)

no, seriously, if you're going to go with a cola, Pepsi sucks. it is sugary. Sierra Mist is good. I've only bought one since the promotion and it was a winner, but I accidentally threw the cap away. Oh well, I was going to give it away anyway. And I don't believe I would have owned the song in a useful and perpetual way anyway, without breaking the encryption code. I want to be able to listen to my music on whatever device I want, no matter what OS it's running.

Re:that's smart thinking (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444410)

And I don't believe I would have owned the song in a useful and perpetual way anyway, without breaking the encryption code. I want to be able to listen to my music on whatever device I want, no matter what OS it's running.

That's a good point. I have a Mac and I haven't yet pawned off my iPod for food money, so I guess I'm their ideal customer. :-) It worked perfectly for me and is as perpetual as I need it to be. But if you don't have all Apple gear or you're a Linux user, etc, then I can see where this would be more of a problem.

Re:Sorry... (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444239)


Coke in a Pepsi cup? Philistine.

Re:Sorry... (0)

exspecto (513607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444398)

Goliath drank Coke...and we all know what happened to him.

Pepsi: The choice of a Jew Generation!

Re:Sorry... (4, Insightful)

Chester K (145560) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444188)

..but I am entirely uninterested in NOT owning my music.

I am. I'd rather pay $9.95 a month and have access to the label's entire catalog for streaming for as long as I want to pay $9.95 a month, than pay a dollar per song.

It breaks down to the price of about 10 "bought" songs per month, or 120 "bought" songs per year. Compared to my MP3 library of 3000+ songs, I'd have to subscribe for well over 20 years before it'd be cheaper for me to have just bought all that music outright.

Re:Sorry... (4, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444346)

..but I am entirely uninterested in NOT owning my music.

Well, I'm sorry, but you don't own your music unless you made it. What you do own is a copy of the music and a license to listen to it under certain conditions specified by the copyright owner. This includes all that vinyl (you do know what "vinyl" is, right?) and your CD collection as well.

I feel the same way... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444356)

This is a case where the free market will decide.

If enough people are willing to pay for that kind of service then more power to them but I for one will not.

/. gave away the secret! (1)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443985)

Now that /. has given away the secret (marketing on college campuses) Napster won't be able to get that market share after all! Oh, woe is Napster! ;)

Behind RealNetworks? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8443992)

While Napster is far behind RealNetworks' Rhapsody service, AOL's MusicNet, and others

It's gotta hurt pretty bad when Real is considered better than you!

Re:Behind RealNetworks? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444107)

Especially if your business plan consists of

1> Be better than real
2> ...?
3> profit!

Just curious (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443996)

Why all the hooplah about all these "me-too" online music downloading businesses?

I mean, I know you all are stiff for Apple, so anything they do just has to be covered as innovative and cool. But Napster is not napster anymore, the name was merely bought.

Big fricking deal.

I just dont care that the new Napster is going to start a big marketing push. That's what businesses do, duh.

Re:Just curious (1, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444044)

Because there are still bitter Slashdotters who hate that a program that let them conveniently pirate every album under the sun was taken away and replaced with something legitimate. Anything involving Napster is news, even the fact that it's not really the Napster we remember anymore.

"New Napster" = Roxio (2, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444073)

But Napster is not napster anymore, the name was merely bought.

I'm glad someone has finally pointed this out. The "new napster" is actually run by Roxio, the folks that make EasyCD Creator for Windows and Toast for Mac.

Now if only the Nero guys would show us what a real music store could look like....!!

Roxio is just a marketing company anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444424)

What has Roxio innovated?

As far as I can see they bought all their products, most of those products were already second and third hand. How many owners did Toast have before Roxio?

After they bought MGI they continued to slash and burn the R&D and programing departments until now all the old products come as one title. Boy that's innovation.

They are an example of the software dinosaurs that died long ago, Whoever put up the bucks for "Napster's Marketing Push" will learn the hard way. (Big secret; Audio out -> Audio in)

Re:Just curious (1, Interesting)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444422)

I mean, I know you all are stiff for Apple

Then let me be the first to say: To hell with iTunes

That's right. I said it. To the stinking sulfur pits of hell with iTunes. Let's look at this from a consumer standpoint.

Option 1: CDs and player. CD's are (finally) dropping in price. They support artists (at least as much as iTunes). A player is 30 bucks. I can play it ANYWHERE as often as I like, and if the store that sold it goes out of business, no big deal. No DRM. No internet connection required.

Option 2: iTunes. I pay almost the same amount of money for a disc worth of tunes and the quality blows ass (sorry, but 128K AAC sounds like crap, same as MP3). I can only listen to it on approved devices which cost 10x as much as CD hardware. Sure the CD player can skip, but that can be mitigated with a giant cushion of CASH that you don't have to spend. I can only listen to it on computers that I have "registered" due to the DRM applied to the content. If Apple should fold, what happens to my tunes? Are they still mine?

So you can see that with iTunes, you pay the same amount of money for a music product that sounds worse, restricts use, and offers no benefit to the artist above a CD. Now tell me again why I am supposed to care?

4th post bitches (-1, Offtopic)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443997)

ah ah

Uh-uh. (0, Troll)

Hu's_on_first (707394) | more than 10 years ago | (#8443999)

If it ain't free; it ain't for me!

Beam Back (5, Informative)

selphish189 (754989) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444000)

You should be able to just use beam back to... well... beam back the streaming media (if that is in fact how napster does it) onto your computer. You can dowload it at www.freshmeat.net.

Re:Beam Back (4, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444047)

Good tip. And if that doesnt work, well...it wouldnt give good quality...but the way I see it...(and many already mentionned), just take an analog wire going from where you plug your speaker to, let say, the line 2 input of a front panel of an audigy platinum (or superior equivalent) and record from that source... Anything software-based would be screwed right there o.O Unless of course it doesnt work on the computer at all... In any case, I thought why on-line music stores caught with the general population was because you could burn CDs of the songs... I dont like that, but so many do, or need to (older car cd player, etc), so well, if its streaming, people who cant get around it cant really enjoy it... Just my two cents.

There can be only none. (2, Insightful)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444002)

Local record shops are getting out of the store fronts and turning into online only shops. dealing with fickle connoisseurs.

Apple sells hardware.

Face it, there is no room for Napster anymore. The era of pirating and sound liberation, where Napster ruled (well, AudioGalaxy did for me) is over. :(

Re:There can be only none. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444077)

I couldn't disagree more with the statement:

"Face it, there is no room for Napster anymore. The era of pirating and sound liberation, where Napster ruled (well, AudioGalaxy did for me) is over. :("

Pir8's are alive and well - thank you very much!

Is Napster Secure? (5, Interesting)

bfree (113420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444004)

Can you simply subscribe to napster and stream the content to disc, thus illegally "buying" it? It's not that I want to do this, it's just that I would imagine that if people cannot do this (or have to go d2a2d to do it) then their market will always be much smaller than the stores, if however you can rip off the content then I imagine many users will go that route as a cheaper way to get their hands on music that's slightly more legal than simply going peer to peer. Come to think of it, can you just timeshift the napster content legally? I presume not as you can control it's delivery but ...

Re:Is Napster Secure? (3, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444071)

It looks like it uses WMA, which has fairly good DRM. Screws people who aren't on Windows 2000/XP of course, but I guess they consider people using Windows 98, Linux or MacOS not mainstream enough (or more likely, the underlying OS not DRM-secure enough).

Re:Is Napster Secure? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444170)

Lets see it's as trivial as looping back the SPDIF out to the in at worst. Yes you will have some recompression artifacts but since to many people accept 128kbit mp3 as sounding good enough I doubt you will change that much.

But realy isn't windows 98 still a huge segment of the internet connected PC's Even 2000 is only passing 4 years old now and thats at a time when a lot of people havent been upgrading simply because the PIII 500 running windows 98 is fast enough to run internet and word proccessing.

Re:Is Napster Secure? (1)

greed (112493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444274)

Not trying to imply that I like Windows Media, or enjoy using DRMed WMA streams or anything, but Windows Media [microsoft.com] does work on Macintosh.

In particular:

Support for Digital Rights Management
Plays secure content protected with Microsoft Windows Media Rights Manager version 1.3.

Interestingly, there is no indication on the Windows Windows Media Player 9 pages as to which version of the Windows Media Rights Manager they are using.

Re:Is Napster Secure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444411)

It looks like it uses WMA, which has fairly good DRM.

Does it? I've always used mplayer -dumpstream under Linux.

d2a2d sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444222)

Digital-analog-digital sucks. I have done this with real rhapsody just for the heck of it. and the audio quality is far from good. besides you have a lot of time in your hands to play each song you want and record it in the background.

Ok, making progress on the business plan (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444007)

1. Give music a way for free
2. Go bankrupt.
3. ????
4. Get bought.
5. ????
6. Go bankrupt.
7. ????
8. Profit!!!

Like Most, I would prefer to own (5, Interesting)

xeaxes (554292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444009)

Napster could start to increase market share in the more profitable business of selling monthly subscriptions, where customers can listen to -- but not own -- as many songs as they want each month for $9.95.

Like most people, I buy around 4 - 5 CD's a year. This totals about 50 - 60 bucks. For me to pay $10 per month, I would have to own the music to justify the $120 per year cost.

I believe that most people, much like myself, would like to own their music. I want to put it on any device I want. I want as many copies as I need. And, I want it available anytime, anywhere. When these companies figure that out, then they will start making money from me. Until then, I will continue to buy the 4-5 cds I deem worthy.

Re:Like Most, I would prefer to own (3, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444133)

Worse is the huge problem that people who pirates the music can do that, people who buy it are bound by all those limitations... I totally despises piracy, software or music, RIAA or not...but its just annoying when people who screw the system get to do things I cannot, that seem rather fair to me... (for now you mostly still can...but this DRM thingny is starting get restrictive for my taste, if amazingly easy to bypass...) I usualy end up buying the DRMed music, then getting rid of the DRM by a mean or another...I still dont do anything illegal with it beyond that...in most cases, unless they are physicaly with me, no one else will ever hear the music... Its just so it doesnt have any problem with all my other softwares and devices... You're right...I'd be willing to pay a lot more for music I can do whatever I wish with without any legal nor moral issues...Can't hurt to dream, can it...

I will not buy DRM (5, Interesting)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444013)

I will not buy from these places. I have no problem with paying for music, it's that I don't want DRM. If any of these places where to sell me music without drm, I would buy it.

Re:I will not buy DRM (2, Informative)

wongaboo (648434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444145)

I don't know about Napster but I find it easy to recode my AAC's from Apple's itunes music store as MP3's. Bye bye DRM.

Re:I will not buy DRM (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444334)

I know you can burn them to CD, but I shouldn't have to do that. Apple/Roxio/RealMedia shouldn't be trying to control what their customers do.

Brand name (4, Interesting)

funny-jack (741994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444016)

Napster the music-sharing service used to be cool. Now, it's nothing more than a Brand Name [target.com] . That's not nine lives, that's just someone profiting off of an established name. Sad.

Napstser's nine lives? (1, Offtopic)

e-Motion (126926) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444025)

Hmm, sounds like a motto for catster, dogster [slashdot.org] 's competitor

And when you... (5, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444037)

Unsubscribe, you lose all 'rights' to play?

Dont do DRM.

Re:And when you... (1)

47Ronin (39566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444147)

Unsubscribe, you lose all 'rights' to play?

So when you stop paying, your music is no longer yours? How lame is that.. at least Apple doens't force you to buy in order keep your music. The Napster model forces you to keep paying in order to enjoy what you have. In addition, you have to pay Napster in order to listen to internet radio. With Apple iTunes, internet radio stations are free, plus you can stream your music (bought, ripped, or downloaded from whereever) with anyone on your LAN) for FREE, plus you can listen to everyone's shared playlists.

Subscription services for music shall eventually fail, unless the lemmings keep coming.

Re:And when you... (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444362)

its simple enough to get around, you know.

if i ever subscribed to such a thing, the first thing i would do is re-encode into a non-DRM format.

if you can hear it, you can rip it. its not hard.

Go Napster!! (0, Redundant)

DJ FirBee (611681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444043)

I believe that soon Napster will regain it's lost mindshare of the worlds music afficianados and become the pre-eminent supply of music in digital format.

HA HA HA I am just kidding!!!

Re:Go Napster!! (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444202)

I guess we should never underestimate the stupidity of most Americans, especially the mindless drones that fill most "State" campuses nation wide. This jsut might work if they find people stupid enough to believe 2.0 is still Napster.

Xbox approach (0, Offtopic)

NeoTheOne (673445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444051)

yea just keep throwing money at it and it can be successful. They keep doing these things were colleges buy it for their students and such. Screw that, my costs are high enough as it is and I really dont give a flying fuzz about helping the RIAA out. They can kiss my ass and keep their music.

Nine lives (0, Redundant)

gusmao (712388) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444061)

It's great to see Napster trying to come back after the "revolution" it stired up, but let's face it, Napster is no longer a cutting-edge technology or concept. They are only trying to catch up and make some dought. This is not bad, it's just not that cool anymore.

So many choices...none are appealing (2, Funny)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444079)

While Napster is far behind RealNetworks' Rhapsody service, AOL's MusicNet, and others, it's taking the lead again in the old Napster's stomping ground: college campuses.

Wow! I never knew there were so many ways to use your hard earned money to buy poorly encoded music. BTW, are the college campuses they speak of from the days of the free and illegal Napster or the new and legit one?

College Endorsement (3, Insightful)

screwballicus (313964) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444085)

From the article:

Penn State University and the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music intend to offer free Napster subscriptions to thousands of students in coming months. These are just pilot programs, and Roxio granted big discounts that will keep profits negligible at best, say insiders. But the hope is that the students will become paying customers for years to come. "Smart," says Kenswill.

A college endorsing and paying for a private entertainment service of this sort? This is a school of music, but billing Napster as academic resource seems a little questionable. Unless I miss my guess, Napster's unlikely to have deals with the world's great bastions of classical music performance. Another example of an academic institution adopting a policy of private endorsement.

Re:College Endorsement (1)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444245)

I'm pretty sure these schools are public universities as well. With that said, I read "questionable" as "conflict of interest". Maybe we should call the GAO.

Who cares about online music (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444096)

...they found water on Mars

Why Should I bother? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444097)

Posted Anon for obvious reasons.

Why should I even bother with any of these pay for download schemes? Lets be serious here.

They dont provide any CONSUMER Benifit over the "shady" p2p services.

They give me no incentive to switch. The quality of the files are oft worse then what i can get illegally. You pay for something, and dont get anything tangible in return. The selection is severly limited. And there are file restrictions.

There is a very easy way to fix this whole problem. Put up a "donate" button on artist's websites so I can fling them a few bucks.

Unfortunatly, due to politics, this is mindboggingly complex. Im getting really tired of putting up with half-assed efforts that are simply a mediocre nod to the population.

Remember, we are fighting with people who think that free, instant, worldwide access to much of the art created in the past 100 years is a BAD THING.

ugh. just ugh.

Re:Why Should I bother? (2, Interesting)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444226)

I'd also point out that I have been downloading heaps of free, and legal, music from Sharing The Groove [sharingthegroove.org] and ETree [etree.org] . It's mostly music from bands that permit taping and distribution of their concerts. It's a great way to try out new music as well. If I wasn't unemployed I might retaliate by buying some concert tickets... Sorry Napster. Even if you weren't WMA-only you still don't have the sort of music I want to listen to.

Re:Why Should I bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444396)

Remember, we are fighting with people who think that free, instant, worldwide access to much of the art created in the past 100 years is a BAD THING.

They also seem to believe that art will not exist as soon as free, instant, worldwide access to all art is in place. Hence the need to fight against said access.

Are people really going to accept ... (4, Insightful)

JSkills (69686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444121)

Are people really going to accept some artificial limit on the number of times you can listen to a song or view a video? You know there's a great deal of money behind the idea in order to put us all in line, but come on now.

Half the fun of discovering/enjoying new music is turning your friends on to it. For me anyway ...

I understand the need for these distribution companies to cling to the idea of control and taxing our enjoyment habits, but they need to dig deeper when they think about a possible business model that will work for the artists, themselves, and most importantly the consumer ...

As S Jobs says... (3, Interesting)

computerme (655703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444126)

You RENT an apartment, you BUY music...

I'm now over 250 song purchased from the itunes music store and still think its the closest thing to digital music nirvana there is.

Very liberal DRM (that still protects the artist), cheap, Incredbile round tripping between itunes software and the ipod and the list goes on...

Scott "how's buymusic.com doing now?" Blum can kiss my itunes using behind. It still cracks me up when i think of the shameful buymusic.com launch and the quotes that were attributed to him....

Re:As S Jobs says... (2, Interesting)

spinspin (624028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444291)

http://www.downhillbattle.org/itunes/ "iTunes music store. Facelift for a corrupt industry"

Napster is dead (2, Informative)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444135)

Thats all there is to it. It had its time, it made its splash, its part of our collective history now.

There is nothing Napster-like about 2.0, NOTHING. I think someone should sue them for false advertising, because Napster is supposed to be synonymous with free.

Napster is supposed to be synonymous with free? (1)

bad enema (745446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444229)

It's called Napster 2.0, not Free 2.0.

And the fact that it's "2.0" should tell you enough about the differences with the original Napster.

So why is this modded informative?

far too much opinion here (3, Interesting)

jpellino (202698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444151)

How does free subscriptions at two universities translate into "it's taking the lead again in the old Napster's stomping ground: college campuses."

Hell, I had an inch-thick binder full of 9-point type with just a few day' worth of 'classic' napster download logs "back-in-the-day" at a teensie campus... the lead is a long way off.

Why... (4, Insightful)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444181)

...should campuses be buying music subscriptions for their students? Do they buy magazines, etc? Nope. I see things like that and then see the universities plead poverty....

Subscribe to this newsletter, biatch! (4, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444192)

Napster could start to increase market share in the more profitable business of selling monthly subscriptions, where customers can listen to -- but not own -- as many songs as they want each month for $9.95

Of course it's more profitable -- you're tied to the service by an umbilical cord, and as soon as you stop paying, you lose all access to the music, no matter how much you've paid up to that point!

There's a reason Americans are so big on the home buying thing: they don't want to pay rent for the rest of their lives.

Let's do some math: $10/month = $120/year = $1200/decade. So if after paying my 1200 bucks, I decide to stop subscribing -- or Napster goes out of business, then I have, let's do some more math: squat! No music for my money.

And of course, my subscription won't work at work -- my employer won't want the bandwidth cost of my streaming --, and it won't work on my portable, because it'll all be DRM'd streams.

If I want to listen without owning, there's this thing called radio. Since that's almost wholly dominated by Clear Channel Homogeneity, I re-phrase: Internet radio.

But no way will I subscribe to ephemeral music encumbered by Digital Restrictions Management.

are you ready... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444204)

Back to funk, swipe the funk, freak the funk
Hype the funk, and all that junk

Back to funk, swipe the funk, freak the funk
Hype the funk, and all that junk

Y'all ready?

Check the technique...see if you can follow it.

hit it / and i need competition.

What channel? What station?

As many songs as you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444205)

...as long as they're on the pre-approved "ok for streaming" list, and no you can't see this list before you buy a subscription.

College campaign overrated??? (1)

overbyj (696078) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444214)

I honestly have to believe that Napster's college program is overrated. Woo hoo, I am a college student and I get to stream songs but I can legally save them (sure there are ways to save the stream but let's save that discussion for another day.) So I stream one song and think it's pretty cool but damnit, I have to pay for it "again" and it will only be in the WMA format.

I say again because don't believe that I haven't in some direct or indirect way contributed monetarily to the ability to stream songs. What if I am a student on campus that doesn't want this service, is the university going to let me out of paying for it in some fashion? Or is this the new recreation activities fee that students have to pay for in addition to the one for the gym that most don't take advantage of?

Count me as not sold on the viability of Napster.

I see it as thusly: (1)

Elpacoloco (69306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444235)

1. Although Napster was shut down, I know a large number of people who still remember it fondly. (My own father particularly loved Napster, and was enraged that it was shut down.)
2. Having to keep track of payment will complicate the new Napster.
3. Napster's strength was in it's population. Unless they can get a big following, they'll be rather useless.

If I had to gamble on it, I would bet 1 to 4 against this new Napster.

Napster snapster (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444240)

Why would I pay for something I don't even download for free? The abysmal quality of the generally shared (legal or illegal) music files only takes one or two listens before you'd rather go listen to a Mariah Cary CD.

Even the MP3s/OGGs I've created myself at the highest quality levels possible are still noticably shy of true CD quality in many cases, and that level of quality is rarely available via downloads. The only reason to have them is to carry large amounts around with you, to play on largely sub-standard audio equipment (even my car audio shows the shortcomings of some of these files, but the lure of 100+ songs on a CD for a 4 hour trip and the high background noise of freeway travel make this choice acceptable). Now if they only made a car DVD player that played WAVs....

ITMS has free streaming music. (4, Interesting)

cenonce (597067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444250)

iTunes has streaming music for free anyway. Frankly, 9.95 a month for songs I can't download and listen to when I want is about as good as listening to the local radio station.

-A

"old stomping grounds"? most of the kids moved on! (4, Insightful)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444260)

It's been 3 1/2 years since napster was shut down [wired.com] -- with a 4-year college, that means that anyone who used the old napster will be graduating out in about 2 1/2 months. This doesn't leave a lot of time for the new napster to get traction on the coattails of the old, especially when iTunes has been out since before the beginning of the school year.

Re:"old stomping grounds"? most of the kids moved (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444388)

Has it been that long? God, I'm getting old.

Wait Wait Wait... (1, Insightful)

form3hide (302171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444262)

Wait wait...

Napster wants to charge X amount of dollars a month for them to stream music to me? "Music on Demand"? But, I don't own the music... meaning I can't put it on my discman, my iPod, or my home stereo?

I don't get how it could be successful...

Predictions, Pundits, and Prognosticators (3, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444275)

Thank God the world isn't run by those who predict, semi-predict, or produce weasel-word predictions that can be plausibly denied.

"While praising Apple's service, analysts caution that its success won't necessarily transfer completely to the Windows environment." - John Borland, c|net news, 7/28/03

A little misleading.... (2, Interesting)

overbyj (696078) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444280)

because comparing Naptser to iTunes in the pay download market versus the pay stream market is moot. If you, Apple has a marketshare of 0 in the pay stream market. Basically, Apple says "so what" to that. I am happy with the ability to listen to radio streams and not rent music. Napster can increase their marketshare all they want in the pay stream business because in the end, I think that market will dry up after people realize "Hey, I am basically paying for selected radio."

Good luck Napster on that one because you are going to need after losing $15 million last year. Here's to hoping that you find many more suckers in the pay stream market.

Stupid marketing speak (5, Interesting)

heldlikesound (132717) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444333)

This sentence is so dumb and useless.

"According to a recent study, Apple has 75% of the pay for music download market, but Napster could soon gain more market share due to a new upcoming market push."

In other words, Apple is beating the crap out of Napster right now, but Napster might do better. They might do better because there are only three options, do better, do worse, or stay the same...

Analog baby (1)

TheTomcat (53158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444341)

Can't "own" the songs? Not like we own them now..

Besides, it's nothing one of these babies [radioshack.com] couldn't fix.

S

Sums up DRM for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444358)

"DRM turns computers against their owners. I don't want a Disney security guard sitting in my living room watching my every move."
- Ian Clarke [sfbg.com] , creator of Freenet [freenetproject.org]

Napster on campus (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444364)

The whole napster on campus thing is silly. Only very long in the tooth graduate students remember napster at it's prime. Why would youngsters feel any bond with napster?

so now /. is accepting stories from PR firms??? (0)

darthcamaro (735685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444391)

Looks like this story was clearly/obviously submitted by a PR firm.. Is /. now a mouthpiece for corporate PR?

I must be missing something (4, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444394)

So let's go back a bit and look over the very short history of music downloading.

First, people discovered MP3's. And that was good.


Then they traded with each other via IRC and FTP systems.

Then along came Napster, and automated the whole process.

Then Napster went bye-bye.


OK, I'm good so far. As of this point in history, the RIAA is making $0 additional dollars out of Internet downloads. Other services are trying out, like MP3.com and emusic.com and so on, but that's not helping the RIAA. Not that I'm terribly concerned about them myself, but I'm sure they are concerned about themselves.

So then this happens:

The rise of the subscriber services. For only $10 to $20 a month, get all the music (within reason, check your personal download service) you want to listen to, and if you want to listen and you're not connected to the Internet, well, tough, we need to verify you, and pity if you want more than maybe 3 machines all listening at once.


Keep the music on your hard drive? Pish-posh! You must be insane.


As we all know, subscriber services have pretty much crashed and burned. And this is the part I don't get:

Why do those who prefer subscriber services keep trying to tell everybody else how great it is? Since Rhapsody and Real Network's service came out, it's been "the consumer will realize how great our service is, and they will come to us with great shedding of tears of joy, and we will ease their music needs with our streaming servers!"

Except that people aren't rushing to subscriber services. Most of these services have just not been doing well.

Moving on in history:

Steve Jobs insults the RIAA in a speach, then introduces the iTunes Music Store, careful not to call it the "Apple" music store to keep "Apple Records" from sueing. It doesn't work, but as the iTunes Music Store sells 1,000,000 songs the first week, which when you think about how Rhapsody had 300,000 subscribers
every, that's pretty cool


So let's get back to Napster 2.0.

Napster 2.0: "Invest in us! We sell music like Steve Jobs and his crew as well!"

RIAA Members: "So how will you make money? Apple's making all of their money with the iPod."

Napster 2.0: "Subscription services - people will love it! And then no more of that pesky downloading of music, since all music lovers are just thieves anyway, right?"

RIAA Members: "Makes sense. Obviously the iTunes store will fail once people see the wonder of subscription services."

Napster 2.0: "We're going to be rich!"


So that's where we are. I know Micorosft likes Napster, and wants them to do well to peddle WMA to the world, and then there's the whole college thing.

And once those college students leave the dorms? Will they say "Hey, let's pay $10 a month to Napster to keep listening to music!", or will they say either:

A. I haven't had to pay for music in years, and now I can't listen to my old stuff. Streaming music stuff - I'll just download it off [insert P2P service here].

Or:

B. Well, guess I'll have to buy the song. May as well use the iTunes store - it works with my iPod.

Napster doesn't really have a "value added" reason to use them over iTunes. Sure, there are WMA devices out there, and I'd be surprised if the average man on the street can name you 1. No, not geeks - I'm sure I'll get calls of the "Archon Mega Zord Power MP3 player!" - average man on the street. Ask them what MP3 player works with Napster, and you'll either get blank looks, or "iPod", and then you'll scream and say "those only work with the iTunes store, you nitwit!"

And then they'll say "Oh. Well, I guess I'll go there instead."

Apple's got it all down pat. You get an iPod, and there's iTunes telling you where to buy music - the iTunes music store. If you just download iTunes for Windows or Mac, same thing. It's a very simple but effective plan.

Napster, on the other hand, gives me, um....

Yeah, I'm thinking about it. Oh, yeah - subscription plan!

Hm. You know, I'd like to see what would happen if iTunes also offered a subscription plan too just to drive Napster crazy. Odds are, if the article is right at 75% of all online music is sold through the iTMS, then Napster has enough to worry about already.

Yawn... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444402)

try again.

Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8444414)

WHO CARES ABOUT THE NEW NAPSTER! the ipod is currently the best mp3 player on the market and itunes is an excellent piece of sofware. I'm all for competition, but there are other services besides napster.

Prepaid Napster Cards (2, Informative)

relaying denied (705048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444418)

I saw prepaid Napster cards in the local conevience store the other day. Scary...

I still don't get the streaming revenue model (4, Insightful)

gordguide (307383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444421)

Am I just stupid, or is there some benefit to paid streaming? Exactly what added value do I get for $120/year over the hundreds, nay thousands, of streaming music stations I can get off the internet now?

Is there some advantage to picking my own songs (ie I'm doing the DJ work here) versus logging into an all-Blues or all-Jazz or all-whatever streaming audio feed and forgetting about music 'till I shut down?

Or does Napster offer an option to do that grunt work for you (which makes them exactly, and I mean exactly, the same as a free streaming radio station)?

Sorry, I just don't get it. My $120 still buys 6 to 12 CDs a year (depending on whether they're new releases or older albums) and I can have my choice of internet radio stations, many of whom broadcast at 128 kbps.

At least with the iTMS you can keep the songs; although I still bristle at paying anything for a lossy compressed version I'm not naeive enough to think that it's not good enough for many people.

But streaming music is free, free, free right now. What am I missing here?

It's the DRM, stupid. (1, Interesting)

Scot Seese (137975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444429)

Apple is not winning the game with a superior song catalogue, superior interface, or the ethereal Apple "coolness" factor.

They are winning because of the iPod, the slickest portable digital audio player in the game.

It's the hardware.

If I could go to Best Buy and browse from a selection of six to eight portable digital audio players that worked with Napster's DRM, and these products were reasonably affordable and well designed, Napster's bottom line would be much better off. Much better off if Napster got a kickback off every one sold, that is.

People do not like having audio files they can only play on their PC, or (in the case of Apple) having to purchase an absurdly expensive player. Apple could blow the lid off the maket if the mini iPod had been $149 with 128 megs of RAM and memory card slots instead of getting stuck in MUST-HAVE-INTERNAL HARD DRIVE tunnel vision.

Jobs: How about this- I already buying memory cards for various electronics in my home. How about if I can use them in my new iPod as well? Must everything be proprietary? And must my audio player look as though it must be held by a blonde 17 year old girl rollerblading down the boardwalk in hotpants whilst sipping a double shot swiss water process half-calf soy milk mochaccino? Cool is only worth so much more, you know. If Napster had a line of solid players and relaxed their DRM restrictions a little they could knock iTunes out of the box.

New Marketing Push (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 10 years ago | (#8444434)

Anyone else been flooded with SPAM about how the NEW NAPSTER Rocks (or something like that)???

How low can they go? That is the BIGGEST turn off, SPAM.

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