May 20, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
If you’re shopping around for online music stores, chances are you know iTunes very well, or maybe Amazon.com’s MP3 store caught your eye. Remember Napster, which started this whole MP3 flood almost 10 years ago? You probably remember that it was shut down for a while, and then came back with a subscription music streaming plan. You might not have known that it features a very legit music store as well, and its latest software release is providing for all DRM-free downloads.
Yup, you can play your new Napster downloads—that you purchase at the usual 99-cent per-song fee—on any portable music player you’d like in MP3 format.
Oh yeah, and Napster’s store has 6 million-plus songs in its catalog, including the four major record labels, so you should find just about anything to match your tastes.
You’ll have it in pretty good quality as well, as about 95 percent of the catalog is available at 256 Kbps bitrate, rather than the typical 128 Kbps flavor of MP3 many of us are used to. You’ll also get high-resolution (1000 x 1000 pixels) album art with each song purchase.
For now, Napster’s music store is only available to U.S. residents, however.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.