“The Napster campus representatives held Napster Night yesterday evening in the Carl E. Becker House dining hall. The event was designed to promote Napster to Cornell students as the Student Assembly will need to vote on whether to fund the program again next year as part of the student activities fee,” Alex Lebowitz reports for The Cornell Sun. “Students were inundated with free Napster t-shirts, stickers, ringtones, water bottles and hats while songs by musicians from Smash Mouth to Outkast blasted throughout the eatery. Volunteers also had the opportunity to play disc jockey under the guidance of DJ Absolute, an alias for Dia Beshara ’06, one of the Napster campus representatives.”
Lebowitz reports, “The main problem facing the Napster program at Cornell is not the cost as much as how many students will actually use the program. On the surface, 60 dollars a year for unlimited music downloads is unmatched by any other program. For example, using iTunes, Apple Computer’s music download program, a customer would only be able to download 60 songs in a year to match the price of Napster. But Napster’s music can only be played on certain mp3 players. Apple does not allow Napster’s music to be played on iPods because Napster is a direct competitor of iTunes. This presents a problem for the Napster program because, according to a recent study by the NPD group released on the CNET website, iPods account for 92.1 percent of all mp3 players on the market. Cornell students with iPods would be able to listen to Napster songs on their computers, but could not transfer the Napster songs from the computer to the iPod.”
Full article here.
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You know, Cornell’s a great school. You think they’d have figured out by now that since Mac users are better educated and make more money, they’re very likely to be attending Cornell. Hello, Cornell? Napster doesn’t even work on Macs. And since probably 9 out of 10 Cornell students that own a portable music player, own an Apple iPod, why wouldn’t Cornell use an iPod-compatible service? For how long are you going to exclude Mac users, who must make up a significant percentage of your students, Cornell? And what happens when Napster closes up shop, Cornell? Who’s getting paid what and how much are they getting?
What’s next for Cornell? Signing with a food service outfit that only serves dog? As Napster works for your twelve students with a player from the now-defunct Rio, your new food service will appeal to a select few (although probably to a larger number of students than does Napster).
From Cornell’s music FAQ page: The Student Assembly recognizes that Napster isn’t a solution for students who don’t use Windows 2000 or XP (although it will work with Macintosh if Virtual PC for Mac is installed). So the Student Assembly, with help from the Dean of Students and OIT/CIT, is continuing to evaluate other online music services. Cornell students have said they want to download and stream full-length songs, without having to buy every song. Napster is one service that does that; if you know of others that work with more operating systems, please suggest them via the feedback form: http://cit.cornell.edu/services/music/napster/feedback.php
We sent them this:
You state that Cornell students have said they want to download and stream full-length songs, without having to buy every song. Which and how many Cornell students said that exactly? Certainly not your Mac and iPod-using students whom you’ve excluded completely or told to buy a $250 Microsoft Virtual PC program, so they can listen to “free” music? You want to cover your asses legally and include virtually all of your students this year? Apple iTunes on Campus. Give your students easy access to iTunes–the best digital jukebox for Windows and Mac and iPod users. – http://www.apple.com/education/itunesoncampus/ If students want to listen to free streams without buying, they can listen to the Radio stations included in iTunes.
Obviously, Mac users and iPod users are using iTunes at Cornell. The point is that Cornell should not be excluding students and paying for a service that can’t serve a large number of Cornell’s students. To choose a service that is incompatible with Mac and iPod is just plain stupid.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Napster’s dirty little secret: changing subscription services into downloads is easy – February 18, 2005
Cornell University’s Mac users ‘uniformly unhappy’ with Napster – January 19, 2005
Cornell University wrestles with Napster’s exclusion of Mac and iPod-using students – September 08, 2004
Why are Cornell’s Mac students being forced to pay for useless Napster? – September 07, 2004
Napster schools to Mac-using students: bend over and take it – September 04, 2004