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Napster is Back With New $5 Subscription Service

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

Napster is back and while it may be fee-paying, it’s still a far cry from iTunes-like practices of paying per song.

In a press release dated for tomorrow, May 19, Napster announced that for just $5 a month, subscribers will get unlimited, streaming access to the Napster library, which boasts 7 million tracks from both major and independent labels. Along with your unlimited streaming, you’ll also get five “unrestricted”  songs each month that you can burn, play and transfer as many times as you want. 

Throwing in "60 commercial-free radio stations and more than 1,400 expertly programmed playlists," this is a pretty awesome deal for those of us who spend a large part of our lives hooked up to the web. Sure five songs a month isn't great but if you're online for several hours a day, every single day, this seems like a no brainer.

This whole thing brings us right back to Microsoft’s claims that it will cost you thousands to fill your iPod with iTunes versus the $14.99 a month it’ll cost you for Zune Pass. In other words, the benefits of a subscription-based service rather than a pay-per-tune service. Assuming we’re all legal, law abiding citizens who pay for the music (we’re giving you the benefit of the doubt here), what kind of service do you use? Are you an iTunes fan or do you prefer these all-you-can-eat services? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2009 4:37 PM
    I like pandora. It's free, and I get to be exposed to new bands that I've never heard of, but are within the styles that I like.
  • 4 Hide
    vohnvest , May 18, 2009 4:38 PM
    all you can eat with zune... plus i get 10 songs i can keep every month
  • 5 Hide
    bustapr , May 18, 2009 4:39 PM
    I prefer these all you can eat services.
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • -3 Hide
    tenor77 , May 18, 2009 4:50 PM
    bustaprI prefer these all you can eat services.

    Stay away from the breadsticks. They fill you up faster.

    I'm for the open subscriptions as well. You may not own the song but you still have instant access to it as long as you keep the service. Sure there's songs you'll want to buy but a lot of songs loose their novelty.
  • -8 Hide
    paranoidmage , May 18, 2009 5:18 PM
    Quote:
    You’ll also get five “unrestricted” songs each month that you can burn, play and transfer as many times as you want.


    So most of the songs downloaded will be deleted after we listen to them? That's a great service.

    It also sounds a lot better than itunes. Let's do the math. $5 for 5 songs you can actually keep. 5 songs from itunes at 99 cents each will cost 4.95. That's a whole lot cheaper than itunes, right? You only loose 5 cents.

    My pirate ship seems to get songs at the lowest price though: free.
  • -5 Hide
    stlunatic , May 18, 2009 5:26 PM
    paranoidmageMy pirate ship seems to get songs at the lowest price though: free.
    +1
  • 6 Hide
    JMcEntegart , May 18, 2009 5:37 PM
    paranoidmageSo most of the songs downloaded will be deleted after we listen to them? That's a great service. It also sounds a lot better than itunes.


    You're not downloading the content, you're streaming it. You can't delete something you never had to begin with. You're essentially paying $5 for unlimited streaming and get to download five songs as a bonus.
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , May 18, 2009 5:42 PM
    paranoidmageSo most of the songs downloaded will be deleted after we listen to them? That's a great service. It also sounds a lot better than itunes. Let's do the math. $5 for 5 songs you can actually keep. 5 songs from itunes at 99 cents each will cost 4.95. That's a whole lot cheaper than itunes, right? You only loose 5 cents.My pirate ship seems to get songs at the lowest price though: free.


    Who said you download the music? You get to hear all the songs you want at any time for the subscription fee + commercial free radio stations, which is really cool.
  • 4 Hide
    Parrdacc , May 18, 2009 5:43 PM
    Arrgh Matey! These waters there be monsters!
  • -2 Hide
    ART-T , May 18, 2009 5:52 PM
    I just went to napster.com which redirected me to http://www.napster.com/index.html?darwin_ttl=1242668830&darwin=0209A says $12.95/month

    where is the $5
  • 5 Hide
    agnickolov , May 18, 2009 5:54 PM
    Physical CD media all the way. You get your backup right from the start and also the booklet with art and lyrics. Cost's more than download, but - you get what you pay for. I don't actually listen to the CDs - they get ripped right after I get them.

    I'm also suspicious about the breadth of offerings from these services considering I only listen to melodic death metal...
  • 3 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , May 18, 2009 5:57 PM
    paranoidmageMy pirate ship seems to get songs at the lowest price though: free.


    Wow...did we book the same cruise? These pirate ship cruise deals do seem to offer the most substantial savings.
  • -2 Hide
    jsloan , May 18, 2009 5:59 PM
    i just went to napster and their subscriptions start at $12.95/m!

    did someone make a mistake, or do i have to go to specific link or maybe this is not available yet...
  • 1 Hide
    Honis , May 18, 2009 6:10 PM
    Maybe the $5 thing starts tomorrow since the news release is dated tomorrow.

    I currently use Pandora for all my music needs. It works for me because I'm not someone who has headphones attached to my ears while away from a PC.

  • 1 Hide
    millerm84 , May 18, 2009 6:13 PM
    jsloan
    Quote:
    i just went to napster and their subscriptions start at $12.95/m!

    did someone make a mistake, or do i have to go to specific link or maybe this is not available yet...



    ummmm......

    Quote:
    In a press release dated for tomorrow, May 19, Napster announced that for just $5 a month, subscribers will get unlimited, streaming access to the Napster library, which boasts 7 million tracks from both major and independent labels. Along with your unlimited streaming, you’ll also get five “unrestricted” songs each month that you can burn, play and transfer as many times as you want.

  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , May 18, 2009 6:31 PM
    Streaming? So this isn't going to be supported by most mp3 players or smart phones (do they plan a iPhone or Android app)?

    I'm all for getting free unlimited streaming of songs with the purchase of 5 tracks, but being locked to a computer and Internet connection doesn't sound very practical. I mean, I can't install napster software on my work computer, nor can I bring in a personal computer, nor would I have access to the internet if I did, so basically, I can't use this service during the day when I might actually want to do so. In the end it sounds like I'd still be spending money on individual songs and only streaming content at nights or on the weekends (assuming I'm not out doing something).
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2009 8:08 PM
    i just bought a new nokia and it came with a year of free downloads from nokias music store,so i´ll let the bucaneer ship sail without me for a while. im not connected all the time and i like to carry as little as possible, so my phone has wifi and 3g for lite browsing, ad chatting, downloading some music, stereo bluetooth to connect to my car stereo or headphones when riding my bike.And the music can also be downloaded to my computer to hear at home.
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , May 18, 2009 8:42 PM
    Quote:
    Along with your unlimited streaming, you’ll also get five “unrestricted” songs each month that you can burn, play and transfer as many times as you want.

    Awsome! This is a pricing model I've vocalized on the web. I'm sure I'm not the only guy with that idea but I'm just glad its available. I was paying $15/mo for Rhapsody, only like two months after the initial subscription and decided it wasn't worth it cuz I didn't get to keep anything for my money. Yay!
  • 0 Hide
    Eggrenade , May 18, 2009 10:00 PM
    I've been very happy with my Zune pass for the last two months, and after I sell some of my 10 DRM free songs to my sister for slightly less than iTunes it barely costs anything. That's why they call me "Tight-Wallet McMoneybags."
  • 0 Hide
    Caffeinecarl , May 18, 2009 11:30 PM
    I'm all for REAL CD's for the majority of my stuff, but I also use emusic.com and if I really can't find what I want, Amazon MP3.

    I quit using pirate music for the same reason I quit using pirate software... too many "stowaways".
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