“The war for college students’ hearts, ears and tuitions has begun, placing Cornell as a central battlefield in the fight to serve digital music and media to over 14 million increasingly tech-savvy pupils,” Michael Morisy writes for The Cornell Daily Sun. “And now, Napster has come — in a big way — to the Cornell campus to claim its share of what is shaping up to be a $270 million dollar online market next year.”
“One major complaint from… students and several technology watchdogs is that, with Napster, students using Macintosh, Linux or even older Windows machines are unable to run the software, yet they are still forced to subsidize the service. Beth Goelzer Lyons ’91, Marketing and News Analyst for Cornell Information Technology, gave the Sun estimates indicating about 20 percent of Cornell students could not run the current Napster technology,” Morisy writes. Full article here.
“The RIAA and its business front Napster signed up six more universities today to their music rental service – a program that could force parents to shell out even more money for higher education costs,” Ashlee Vance reported for The Register back in July. “Cornell University, the George Washington University, Middlebury College, University of Miami, the University of Southern California and the Wright State University (Ohio) have all pledged to have Napster up and running in the near future. The schools join Penn State University and University of Rochester as Napster subscribers. That’s a grand total of eight schools in the last nine months that have agreed to become music vendors and pay an RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) tax to avoid lawsuits against their students.” Full article here.
“Students soon will have a cheap way of downloading music without having to resort to illegal piracy. Vanderbilt teamed up with Napster this semester to introduce VUMix, a program that students may use to obtain and share music. Starting Oct. 1, all undergraduate, graduate and professional students with Windows PC operating systems will have the opportunity to subscribe to VUMix service and download full-length songs, officials said,” Jacqueline Wilde reports for The Vanderbilt Hustler.
“Senior Paige Thompson said she is excited to use VUMix. Thompson, her iPod always by her side, shares a common bond with many college students — a love for all the latest and greatest music,” Wilde reports. Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Too bad Paige won’t be able to use her iPod with Napster without first burning her Napster WMA songs to CDs and ripping them back into iTunes – a tedious and time-consuming process. As for the streaming music, Mac students are shut out, but they’re still paying for Napster. All students at these Napster schools are paying for the service, even Mac-using students who cannot use the service as Napster is PC only and requires Windows XP/2000,Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1 or higher, and Windows Media Player 7.1 or higher.
Mac-using students at these Napster schools are getting shafted royally. They are paying to subsidize Windows students’ use of Napster. Plain and simple, Mac-using students at these Napster schools are getting ripped off, ignored, and are basically expected to bend over and take it.
Apple, for its part, on September 1, launched iTunes on Campus which is aimed at helping colleges and universities stem the tide of illegal music downloading on campus. Apple offers educational institutions a free institutional site license for the iTunes application and the ability to purchase songs for students at a discount. The iTunes on Campus program enables universities to provide students with a legal option for downloading music from the Internet and managing their digital music collection. Universities can also take advantage of the iTunes Affiliate Program to generate funds for their school. More than 55 colleges and universities have signed up for site licenses through iTunes On Campus to date. More information on the program can be found at [url=http://www.apple.com/education/itunesoncampus]http://www.apple.com/education/itunesoncampus[/url] .
Apple’s iTunes runs on both Mac and Windows personal computers. Schools that adopt iTunes do not shut out large portions of the student body that use Macs. They do not force Mac-using students to pay for a service they cannot use.
Students on Napster campuses who choose to use Macs need to decide if they are willing to pay for services they cannot utilize. Are you a student in such a predicament? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Ashlee Vance for The Register recently penned an opinion piece entitled, “Apple faithful’s apathy to blame for Napsterized schools.” Vance wrote, “Apple users have this nasty habit of dishing out vicious assaults when you don’t want to hear them and staying awfully quiet when you’d like them to chirp up. No where is this pattern more evident than at the universities who have signed up for Napster’s music rental service. These schools have run right over the famous Apple faithful, and the Mac addicts seem to enjoy the process.” Full article here.
Mac-using students at these Napster schools should band together and protest being forced to pay for something in which they cannot participate. These schools may not even realize the problem, having been sold a bill of goods by Napster. Do you think Napster mentioned the fact that all Mac-using students would be left out? If Mac-using students do something and do it loud enough, the schools will be forced to listen. If they don’t, they have only themselves to blame.