‘Napster To Go’ forces you to pay to keep your existing music

“Whether you like Napster To Go, the online store’s new music subscription service, depends on whether you think of it as all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-pay,” Rob Pegoraro writes for The Washington Post. “Both descriptions are accurate. For $15 a month, Napster To Go offers unlimited song downloads — in a copy-restricted format that can be played only on Windows XP computers and some digital music players — but these songs expire if you don’t keep paying that fee each month.”

“Napster To Go’s $15 monthly bills, however, will keep coming due for as long as you care to listen to your downloads. And over time, those fees add up, too,” Pegoraro writes. “Consider this example: I have been purchasing CDs for about 20 years now, in which time I’ve accumulated about 300 of the things. At an average of $15 each, I’ve spent $4,500. Now suppose that, instead of buying those CDs, I could have opened up a Napster To Go account back in 1985. My total bill would be $3,600 and counting — and although I might have accumulated a larger, more diverse collection, I wouldn’t own any of it.”

“I have a hard time accepting that. At its best, music has the same lasting value as books or paintings or any other sort of meaningful art: It isn’t a disposable good that you use and then forget about. It’s something that you keep listening to and discovering new things in. When music is good, you want to know that it can’t be taken away from you,” Pegoraro writes. “Napster To Go doesn’t allow for that. And when you realize this point, it looks less like a service that allows you to pay to get new music and more like one that forces you to pay to keep your existing music.”

Full article here.

34 Comments

  1. MDNs magic word says it all: “WANT”, as in only an idiot (may be replaced with “stupid”) would want this service. Because, once youre in, youre in. If you want to keep on listening to the music you have gotten accustomed to, you are forced to keep on paying for the service. Then there is the issue of total incompatibility wi9th not only the iPod, but most of the other player out there. And they call Apple’s system proprietarty – what a laugh.

    Sure, “Napster to Go”…

    away.

    And once Janus has been cracked, which it will, the music industry will back away from digital (download) services again. This can only hurt the reputable vendors out there.

    Parhaps, as system that could work (Apple!!! Pay attention here) is a leasing system. You pay a subscription for a year, then, after a year you have the option of purchasing the songs you listened to most at a reduced cost. This might work. Any input to LiTunes (Leased iTunes)?

  2. It seems to me that Mac owners can’t access Napster songs, because the service is not compatible with OSX. But, say you do have the service. Can you not use a program like Wiretap, and record the song, and save it as an AIFF? Then you would own it. Or is that stealing?

  3. Napster is about choice yet there service doesn’t work on A Mac. Where’s the choice? As far as renting my music, no thanks. I did the math and the end result using a pay to play service sucks! I’ll stick with a service that let’s both PC and Mac users use there service. iTunes!
    And I can keep using my music forever.

  4. Mr. Crawford,

    Napster to Go is only the subscription end. If you want a copy of the song outside of the subscription, you have to pay the $0.99 download charge. If you do not care to pay, let your subscription lapse or cannot pay because of lack of funds, you access to the music library you have set up is terminated. THis is why so many people are against it. You essentially have nothing to sho for it at the end of the subscription. In most subscription cases you get something: specialized account access (web sites), hard copy (magazing or journal), even a crappy incentive (SI commerative so and so). Napster is giving you nothing other than access to its music files. And they call people who buy an iPod stupid…

    Rimglow,

    Yes you theoretically can, but quality and future protections may prevent you from doing that. And yes, it is stealing.

  5. Napster is losing the game all round because they fail to understand their market – in just the same way the record industry has failed.

    Consider this: The Napster cat logo worked purrrrfectly with the old P2P service because the character looks anti-establishment and subversive – the cat has a sardonic smile on it face BECAUSE it has knowingly shafted ‘the enemy’ to get its music. The recording-industry-backed new Napster thought keeping the logo would retain all the ‘hip’ associations – and therefore ‘customers’. Problem is the industry-owned cat STILL looks to be knowingly shafting ‘the enemy’ but now its been tamed by ‘big corporate business’, that perceived enemy can now only be the paying customer.

    Another problem is: when a spotty student somewhere inevitably works out how to strip the rental code from his songs and keep them – and then publishes the hack on the internet – EVERYONE will use it, get all the thousands songs they’ve ever wanted for free AND quickly cancel their subscription with Napster for fear of being caught.

  6. How many days do you think will past before some windows hacker cracks the Napster DRM code?

    I reckon give it 2 weeks – and you will be able to download all the songs you want for FREE!!

    God Napster is gonna be in the shit!!

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