Napster and Dell are teaming up to give College students a legal way to get their music.
Dell will bundle their PowerEdge 1855 servers with Napster’s digital music service to allow Colleges to implement the hardware and allow students to listen and purchase music from their local campuses. This means extremely fast downloads and easy access to hundreds of thousands of songs.
So far the two companies have signed on the University of Washington, who will debut the service during the upcoming school year. Napster already provides a similar service to thirteen other universities.
Pricing for students will be discounted and sold through Dell, bundled alongside Dell’s DJ MP3 player.
Late last month, a court rules in favour of the record labels, saying that peer to peer services such as Grokster can be held responsible for the trading of illegal music.
Software giant Microsoft is said to be investigating its foray into the subscription MP3 download market after announcing its MSN Music service last year that competes with Apple’s iTunes.
The new service would offer users a subscription model, similar to how Real’s service and Napster’s service work.
“We are actively investigating the subscription model, but we don’t have anything to share today,” Christine Andrews, lead product manager of Microsoft’s MSN Internet division told Reuters, “Once we are ready to talk more, we’ll let you know.”
The latest player to enter this market was Yahoo, who introduced their own subscription service at prices much less than that of their competitors.
The subscription model allows users to listen to unlimited songs each month, however, a fee must be paid if they want to burn the track to a CD.
Yahoo is launching a beta version of its brand new subscription based MP3 downloading service tomorrow (May 11th, 2005) and it’s already being seen as a major threat to rivals Napster and Real Network’s Rhapsody service. Yahoo will launch its subscription service starting at US$4.99 month, compared to Napster’s US$14.95 a month fee and Rhapsody’s US$9.99 a month fee.
David Goldberg, Yahoo Music General Manager, tells Reuters that prices may go up once the trial run is complete. “We’re not saying it’s the price forever, but we’re assuming it’s the price throughout the Beta (trial) period, which is an undetermined amount of time,”
Shares of Real and Napster fell 12% and 20% in after hours trading, respectively. Yahoo, which currently operates the Yahoo Instant Messenger service, said users will be able to share music with friends as well as transfer songs to their portable devices. Yahoo’s music will only be compatible with devices that support Microsoft’s Windows Media format, forcing iPod users to use Apple’s iTunes store.
Yahoo’s initial library will consist of 1 million songs. Users who wish to copy or own the music will have to pay an additional US$0.79 per song.
Once famous for its ability to find you any song for free, Napster has officially launched itself in Canada. Boasting more than 300,000 tracks from both the 5 major labels and independent labels, Napster brings that much needed competition to the Canadian market. To celebrate its launch, Napster is offering a free 7 day trial.
In addition, Napster and Molson have announced a marketing partnership over the next several years.
“We are thrilled to offer Canadian music fans the most inclusive, exciting, and diverse music experience available,” said Brad Duea, president of Napster, “and we have focused on making the first on-demand subscription service in Canada reflect the unique and discerning nature of Canadian music tastes. The Cat has skated up north and is officially ready to rock.”
Songs are available for $1 with a monthly fee of $9.95 or with no monthly fee at $1.19 each. You can download Napster by visiting Napster.ca.
*All prices in Canadian dollars
It seemed like this day would never come, but Apple, who said iTunes for Windows would originally ship by the end of the year, is bringing us an early Christmas present.
On October 16th, Apple Computer will unveal the long awaited Windows version of the iTunes Music Store. As a Mac only product, iTMS has sold over 10 million songs in the United States. With its lenient copy protection, iTMS has been very successful, deterring users from using illegal services such as Kazaa.
Earlier this week MusicMatch launched a downloading service for Windows and today, Roxio launched Napster 2.0
Napster, once the largest online community for illegal music, will debut on Thursday as a legal alternative to obtaining music via the Internet.
Purchased by Roxio for $5 million last year, Napster will launch with 500 000 songs, more than double what iTunes launched with earlier this year. In addition, Roxio’s subscription based service, Pressplay, will shut down on Tuesday.
Users will have a choice between an a la carte service or a monthly fee. If you choose the monthly fee option, there will be a fee to burn the tracks to CD, but you will be able to download an unlimited amount of songs.
“Within the Napster environment, it’s yours,” says Roxio CEO Chris Gorog. “But if you elect to move it, you can click and buy it.”