Napster MP3 store to rival iTunes store with 6 million DRM-free tracks
Napster has announced that it is now offering DRM-free MP3 downloads that play on the iPod family and the iPhone. Furthermore, the library is 6 million songs which puts it in the same league as the iTunes Store, and indeed far eclipses the latter in DRM-free offerings. The MP3s are 256kbps and cost 99 cents per track with “most” MP3 albums at $9.95.
Personally, I had long since moved most of my download music buying to Amazon MP3 to take advantage of the DRM-free offerings (and slightly lower price) versus the iTunes Store. The main disadvantage to Amazon MP3 was the smaller library; now with Napster offering a similar sized library to the iTunes Store it will be interesting to see if and how Apple responds. Indeed it will be interesting to see if Apple is able to respond with more DRM-free music since it seems clear that the record companies are basically triangulating against Cupertino in a bid to undermine Apple’s online music dominance.
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