Napster’s Entire 6 Million Track Catalogue Now DRM Free

napster logo Napster’s Entire 6 Million Track Catalogue Now DRM Free

Back at CES 2008 Napster announced plans to make their entire catalogue DRM free. Today it joins stores like Amazon and Zune who also offer a part of their library DRM free. The downloads will remain at the same price as before (99 cents per track and $9.99 per album) and will be offered in 256kbps MP3 with high resolution (1,000 x 1,000 pixel) album art. By contrast Zune Marketplace and Amazon offer 320kbps MP3s.

There is one part of this story that is really aggravating in that people who have purchased previously ala carte downloads that were DRMed will not be able to trade for unprotected versions of the music they paid for. Don’t blame Napster, this decision made by the record labels showing us one again they don’t care about their customer base. Once again the DRM customer is screwed. Please vote with your dollars and never purchase DRM content since its expatriation is inevitable.

[CNet | Napster PR]

10 Comments

Howard on May 20, 2008 12:02 PM

It’s that what got them in trouble in the first place. ;)

hawkshot on May 20, 2008 3:03 PM

It appears that the subscription music is still DRM’ed.(DRM’ed? DRM’d? DAMmed?)Until a site with a huge library offers a DRM-free subscription, I am investing in CD’s.

hawkshot on May 20, 2008 3:04 PM

It appears that the subscription music is still DRM’ed.(DRM’ed? DRM’d? DAMmed?)Until a site with a huge library offers a DRM-free subscription, I am investing in CD’s.

Archangel on May 20, 2008 8:57 PM

Whilst I dont buy DRMed music, I do hate it when you get DRM music as part of something else, eg: games (or specifically, Guild Wars Nightfall Collectors Edition). Can’t listen to it on my MP3 player now! Awesome!

HipHopScribe on May 21, 2008 9:43 AM

I don’t see that happening hawkshot, when it comes to an unlimited download subscription, that’s the only area of music downloads I think DRM is legit, it just wouldn’t make sense to offer up your whole catalog, DRM-Free, for $15 or whatever it is. There are subscription services like emusic, but you get a limited number of songs. For purchasing music though, without a doubt, DRM needed to go, and needs to go on services that still use it.

mb240 on May 21, 2008 7:29 PM

Is this taking effect for napster Uk?

aniym on May 22, 2008 8:21 PM

my college had a napster subscription for a while, and i used it pretty heavily during the 2nd half of 2006. Back then, there was a simple hack to strip the DRM from the protected WMAs. Forgot what it was called, but it was essentially a one-click program, even for multiple Mp3s. Now that they’re all DRM-free, using that program to ‘fix’ the old WMAs shouldn’t be a big deal.

DJAttreides on May 23, 2008 10:36 AM

@aniym”to fix the old WMAs”haha, nice sentence. I use NapsterToGo to fill the HDDs of my HTPC (since I can’t afford that much CDs), but I don’t need to fix.The best thing that could happen:ITUNES GOES MP3 or, even better, unprotected WMA!!! As long as that doesn’t happen: NoteBurner FTW!

ThisIsNot on May 25, 2008 1:14 AM

Just to clarify, Amazon offers their music at 256kbps as well. Amazon uses different versions of Lame (I have even seen some FhG encodings) at various settings. Sometime a song is encoded at -V 0 –vbr-new, it can be encoded at –abr 256, and I have even seen some songs at 256kbps CBR.The iTunes Store also offers some 256kbps content as well but it is encoded using their AAC encoder at 256kbps CBR. The Zune Marketplace is the only one where all of their DRM-free tracks are encoded at 320kbps. It shouldn’t really matter though as no one is going to hear a difference between 256kbps and 320kbps even on killer samples (a problem will exist at both bitrates if there is one).

Flyin11 on November 19, 2008 4:31 PM

Not true…I guess it depends though. I can tell a HUGE difference between a 256kbps song and a 320kbps. Expeciaally in my car with a good sound system. In the car I can tell that the 320kbps is much cleaner, louder, and has more bass in it than a track that is 256kbps. The lower quality migh be good for at home on the PC but I have found that 320kbps is about the best way to go in car audio.

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