Napster announces DRM free music; Offering Mac, iPod, and iPhone compatibility

May 20, 2008

napster-logo.jpgNapster recently announced that it will be offering over six million DRM free songs. What does DRM mean? DRM stands for digital rights management It’s a software that protects the songs from unlimited copying.

Napster has gotten all the major labels like EMI, Universal, Warners, and Sony BMG to sell tracks for free from rights-restriction. This is breaking news since Napster will be now offering 50% more DRM-free tracks than any of the other music services available. Good news for Napster, bad news for the Apple iTunes store. To date EMI is the only one that has agreed to sell music to the Apple iTunes store DRM-free. It looks like iTunes has some catching up to do.

Several have questioned why Napster has snagged this incredible deal. Music retailers like iTunes, Wal-Mart, and Amazon sell more music than Napster. Currently Apple iTunes is the number one music retailer in the USA. Bill Rosenblatt, DRM specialist, and the president of Giantsteps Media Technology Strategies said, “Record companies don’t like dealing with Apple, because Apple is in a position where it can dictate the economic terms and dictate the business model,” What’s going to draw people away from iTunes? One answer is to get rid of DRM.”

Since the tracks on Napster are DRM free Apple users will be able to play the tracks on their Macs, iPods, and eventually iPhone. All you have to do is sign up, purchase, and download your selections. Napster prices are comparable to those found on the iTunes store. You pay 99-cents per track. Although I’m an iTunes user I’ll check out the service to see how I like it. If you are a Safari user you’ll have to use another browser to access the website. Currently Napster is not compatible with Safari.

Napster is planning on making all its tracks available through its Napster Mobile DRM-free service in the future.

Napster was created by Shawn Fanning, a college student, in 1999. It started as an online music file sharing service. Its popularity grew, and thousands flocked to the website to download and share music files with Napster users. In 2001 an injunction was filed against Napster to prevent the trading of copyrighted music on its network. Napster was forced to shut down its network in July 2001.

On May 17, 2002 Napster was bought by the German media firm Bertelsmann for 85 million. Roxio, Inc acquired the Napster brand and logo at a bankruptcy auction. Roxio rebranded the music service as Napster 2.0. Roxio is a division of Sonic Solutions. In 2003 Roxio sold the rest of its company to Sonic Solutions and chanted Napsters name to Napster, Inc.

Do you think DRM free music will make Napster a strong contender? Dave has written an article at TECH.BLORGE.

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6 Responses to “Napster announces DRM free music; Offering Mac, iPod, and iPhone compatibility”

  1. TECH.BLORGE.com:

    [...] Napster announces DRM free music; Offering Mac, iPod, and iPhone compatibility [...]

  2. hardmanb:

    The music industry, resenting Apple’s sales power, is openly offering DRM-free music to others, but requiring DRM on iTunes downloads. This is an unfair business practice. Apple should sue.

    If the music industry wants to sell its music, it should sell it in the same form to everyone, without discrimination.

  3. Ralph:

    Amazon has a Linux program for the MP3 downloads, Naspter does not? . I guess one can just transfer the MP3 tracks from another machine to a Linux machine. Whatever the case, the consumer is still the winner with anything that doesn’t have DRM.

  4. Opal Tribble:

    hardmanb,
    I agree with you on this. Currently Apple is in negotiations with record label about adding additional ringtones to the iPhone. If Apple has not done it already perhaps it will be setting up meetings with these companies to see what’s up.

    Ralph,
    There is a program called Linux-Napster which allows you to do all the things you did on the Windows version from what I’ve read they work together. It allows users to access and download MP3′s over the Napster network. http://www.tucows.com/preview/50676
    I haven’t used Linux in years; however, I am planning to purchase a Linux based computer this summer.

  5. Geek squad:

    This needs to be updated. I believe napster works on safari now and is owned buy Best Buy

  6. Loris Montford:

    Hi admin , Why dont u put facebook badge on your blog? Because I want to add your fb. Thank you Regards Admin of slareng.com

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