While there are obvious drawbacks to the iTunes service (DRM compatibility immediately springs to mind) the principle behind the music download service is a great one. That’s why it by far the most popular of all online download services in the US, but the latest incarnation of Napster is ringing in some major changes that are likely to shift some of the balance of power.
The new pay per song service runs at 79 per song, which many believe is still a little too high although realises reasonable savings against new releases. However, perhaps the biggest benefit of the new Napster is that it will not only include over 6 million tracks, but will also be DRM (Digital Rights Management) free.
Tracks can be downloaded to your PC, transferred to another PC or audio device (including the iPod) or burned to CD or other storage device. While the new service is a step away from the monthly subscription plan, those customers that have downloaded music using that plan, will still be supported and have access to their collection of music.
The move is likely to help Napster challenge for the throne of music download service kings, although Apple is bound to have something to say about that.