Pioneering song-swapping internet service Napster has taken the first step in its legal return to business, two years after it was shut down.
Napster has signed a deal with Microsoft
The service was running a test launch on Thursday and is due to launch fully on 29 October.
The original website boasted 60 million users but was forced to close when record companies began legal action for copyright infringements.
Users will now have to pay for music from the renamed Napster 2.0 site.
Digital media company Roxio bought Napster last year for $5m (£2.9m), with plans to launch a legal service but cashing in on the brand name.
Napster's founder Shawn Fanning was brought back by Roxio to work as a consultant.
Roxio hopes the Napster name will give the service a boost in what is becoming a busy and fragmented market place - with many different firms offering music online.
"The space has become crowded because there's a recognition of this is going to be a very substantial business," Chris Gorog, Roxio's chairman and chief executive, said.
"It validates Roxio's strategy to enter this business."
It has tied up a deal with Microsoft for Napster to be included on its next media package.
Online music sales are expected to grow from 1% of the total music market to 12% in 2008, generating about $1.5 billion in sales, according to Jupiter Research.
Napster was one of the first downloads services on the web but it now faces competition from many other sites, including industry-backed services such as Apple's iTunes and unlicensed services like the popular Kazaa, which stands accused of encouraging its users to download pirated music.
Napster 2.0 is set to offer 500,000 songs which fans will be able to buy through a monthly subscription or through one-off purchases.
It will also offer customised radio stations and the ability to copy songs onto CDs and other devices.
It is set to offer single tracks for 99 cents and albums for $9.95.
The original Napster had one of the biggest brand identities on the internet, but its fame brought it to the attention of the major record companies.
Lawsuits began flying as Napster was accused of infringing the copyrights of artists.
The lawsuits were finally halted when a court ordered the website to be shut down, but almost immediately plans were afoot to relaunch it as a legitimate service.
Have you used the new Napster? Are you glad to have it back - or is the new service a turn-off? This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.
It's a new company (Roxio) with a new website supporting a new business model, only using an old and very popular domain name - it's not going to be the same as Napster.
You certainly have a lot of whiners here. To the people who demand unlimited free songs with no return to the artists who made the music: please tell us why you think you deserve this? Online download services may not be perfect yet, but as the competition increases, these companies will start to offer better quality and greater numbers of tracks to tempt customers from the opposition.
I agree on one thing, though: the Windows format offered by Napster and BuyMusic is rubbish, and dangerously dependent on Microsoft. Shun these services, and wait until Apple's iTunes comes to your computer platform (and country) - it's far superior.
The reason I used Napster before was because I could not justify spending nearly a fiver on a CD single. I can still get songs for free online, and will not be paying any money to Napster. And what a surprise to see Microsoft cashing in on it!
David S, UK
I would gladly use a legal site to download music, but in common with the other sites the new Napster is restricted to users in the US. It is such a shame that the collective music industry is yet again being slow to meet consumer demand.
Brendan Sheehy, UK
Just to say what all the rest are saying, Napster won't work again. People use it because it is free. The quality of tunes you can get on other peer to peer services can and usualy is really good. Some guy saying that he can't download the Hulk and that should be looked at, is silly. Is everyone supposed to make sure we are holding a dodgy copy of a movie? The point of a free P2P is that you can find stuff that is unrestricted and you can't find on a chargable service. I would rather buy a CD than to pay to download, and that makes me unhappy.
Sam, England, Leeds
Napster and all its cronies (microsoft etc) had better learn PDQ that Napster's time is finished. Ask yourself this: why is Kazaa the most downloaded piece of software on the net? And why is good old WinMX is making a comeback? Who defines the tunes available on Napster, who defines the quality of the MP3s? I'm sorry Napster but the phrase "flogging a dead horse" springs to mind - I'll take my chances on the free P2P networks, thank you very much.
I think that music piracy is at an all time high because music quality is at an all time low. Why pay for over-priced albums for generic material that really is not all that good. The music industry needs to wake up and actually catch a glimpse of real music and stop marketing fake music. Maybe if record companies produce music that intrigues with skill and precision then people won't be so bothered to spend around $20 per album.
Josh Gardner, USA
Tell me - do you go into W.H. Smiths, pick up 100 different magazines and expect to walk out without paying? Would you fill up with petrol at Texaco and then drive off without paying? No, of course you wouldn't, unless you were a crook and happy to be sent to jail. But, almost everyone here is very happy to steal music and, what's more DEMAND that you can continue steal it. If you don't see the difference between stealing magazines and stealing music, then you have a very sick outlook on life.
Firstly, its shocking and almost terrifying how many of you don't understand the simple economics that govern many of the things you talk about. Robbie Williams is only paid £80 million because he generates far in excess of that for the company. Secondly, as long as they provide decent quality without unreasonable limitations, Services like iTunes and this rebranded equivelant offer consumers the opportunity to get the same service but in a legitimate way. However, it is important to bear in mind that this service means the artist receives even less money from the sale...
Maximilian Tatton-Brown, UK
I find it amazing the number of people here who are able to comment on the content of Napster 2.0 - considering it isn't usable yet - so how do you know? And I would pay $9.99 per month - to be able to download whatever I want - as much as I want - and be certain that the quality is as good as if I bought it on a CD in a shop.
I don't understand you guys who are saying that you would rather buy a CD, when you can get as much music as you like for a $9.99 subscription.
Can't wait for Napster 2.0 - UK Version!!
This is a move in the right direction but there is still an excessive profit involved. How much does the artist get from the 99c? I think that the long term answer is to cut out the record companies completely and for recording artists to market themselves directly via the web.
Duncan Jeffery, UK
9.95/.99 per album/song ain't cheap. The price needs to be halved. full albums in Singapore go for 12-15, so it doesn't make sense to buy a restrictive, non-physical product for $2 less, particularly when the alternative is free, unlimited duplicating MP3s. But in the industry's defence, it doesn't cost 22 cents to make a CD. A lot goes into promotion and marketing. The artist gets about a buck from a $20 CD. However, I still hope Napster2 can offer an unrestrictive $5 album download in the near future.
I think it is a good idea. It is not often that you like all the tracks in a album. I think this service of pay per song is good. I would like to make a suggestion here. I think that Napster should keep a server side list of the song its users have so that the users can have their songs back in case of any hard disk mishap. All the best Napster.
Napster was great--not just because it was free; you could download ANYTHING! I downloaded Doris Day's Chevrolet commercial, and every version of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and Somewhere Over the Rainbow ever made - give me that again!!!! I want what you can't get in the stores!!!
Why pay for it?, Napster has gone, hey ho - sse one of the othe P2P networks. It will never be stopped
I just want to point out that Napster 2.0 won't provide mp3s - it will be using Microsoft's WMA format for Windows Media Player, which is how the Digital Rights Management fits into the grand scheme of the relaunch.
Matt Holmes, England
If it is 99 cents for 128 Kbs then it is still too much of a rip-off. Bring those prices down to a more reasonable level and you might attract more interest. Those downloading free are being accused of ripping off the music industry, it's time the industry looked at it's pricing level of rip off.
David Hanna, Australia
We the public have been ripped off for years, paying high prices for something we enjoy (music). I don't mind paying a small fee to download music but the price they are asking is to high. Still getting ripped off!
If Napster is back like it was that'd be great, but it'll never have the local bands and such that Kazaa etc. have. However, if the unlimited downloads for $10 a month is true it'll be the best option out there.
Nat Kaine, USA
Napster was a great idea in its original format until the music industry closed it down. It's all about control and money and until the music industry and the film industry sell their products in formats that people want and at a cheaper price you will never close down illegal download sites. Even as we speak you can now download the full retail version of terminator 3 dvd off the net if you know where to look.
Michael Thawe, Birmingham
Napster will never make a come back, too expensive, too many restrictions and the same content available else where for free. How did this idea ever get to this stage? If record companies think were are going to pay for this they are really kidding themselves. They need to start using some of their billions to come up with an idea which gives us a better service, product and price than anything available at the moment.
Aled Davies, Wales
I can't see it working. 99 cents for a single or $9.95 for an album, way too expensive. I can go online and buy an album for a similar price and get all the album art, I can then rip this into mp3 format. What I can't understand the music industry argues that a CD sells for £10+ because of costs such as marketing, but albums that have been around for years still sell for £10+ !
Surely the music industry aren't spending millions on marketing for past albums?
After reading all of the above comments regarding the new Napster, I think I'd have to agree with all of them! Napster (or any other paid-for service) will not gain momentum until the real issue of music on the Internet is resolved - that is freedom of the consumer to listen to what, when, and wherever he/she wishes.
Napster, and the other paid-for services have a lot to work on. Their success is based on the basic freedoms, and of the unlimited amount musical content available - a near full catalogue that is not available in the stores!
I tried the Wippit paid-for service earlier this year, and it failed to deliver. It lacked the content, advertising a hundreds of thousands of tracks, and I never found 1 that I wanted! I doubt very much that Napster 2 will do any better. But at least it's now open to market forces. With Microsoft now on board as well, it will eventually (after a few years) deliver what it once used to.
Roy Davis, UK
When you think that the iTunes music store sold 10 million songs within 6 months of its release and it's only available to 2% of computer users.... (itunes for windows is being launched soon)... There are obviously a lot of people willing to pay to download music....
Ian Waters, Hull, United Kingdom
I think this is a step forward, for once, instead of a step back. Those people who state that this is a bad idea, and that the 'free' ones are better, don't see the bigger picture. And most don't realise that those 'free' ones are in fact illegal. I would gladly use this service, if it proves to work well, all the better. It has my support, and the support from the people I know.
Chris Stanton, UK, Redcar
Good old Napster will always be the best download site, but it's been overtaken by Imesh & Kazaa these will still be the busiest as the music is free and not filling up the pockets of the record companies - reduce the price of songs and Napster will be No 1 again, if not, yer doomed
Kevin Skepper, Great Britain
Well they finally caught on to the fact not all of us want to pay $20 and up for a peice of plastic with only ONE song that we like on the whole thing because the artist had one good tune and decided to fake the rest of it. Still far too pricey for Canadians because at $10 USD I could spend the extra $6 Canadian and get a legit copy of the Cd. I do however like the ability to download one tune for a buck (Canadian pricing for Canadians would be nice). But what if my piece of trash computer crashes? Can I download the same songs I already paid for again for free?
Thomas Malenfant, Canada
It is a sad fact for the media industry that you can get programmes now which download more efficiently than even Napster did at its peak. Albums, movies, software, all for free. Anyone can get hold of these programmes, so something more radical needs to be done than just tackling programmes individually. What people don't understand is that by not paying anything, eventually the industry will fail, and then we all lose.
Daniel Colton, UK
I was a member of emusic but as a Heavy Metal fan range was limited and mostly old stuff. Napster would need to be significantly bigger and up to date.emusic quality is great (still some 128 kbs) so Napster quality needs to be way better than 128kb.Upside was about 130 albums for approx.$45.00US.
Greg Yin, Australia
Why bother paying for it? Napster and Audiogalaxy were the best sites on the internet until they went under, mainly because they were free. There are plenty of excellent free programs out there you can use.
Dale Thomas, Wales
A welcome return to probably the best music
I would welcome the chance to download music of the internet, listen before you buy I say.
I used Audiogalaxy before they went off air and the music side was great, but when you're downloading movies is another matter. I started to download the Hulk but kept getting cut off - not enough available sources. This needs to be looked into properly. Bring it back and I would pay to download rather than be charged over-inflated prices in the shops.
The problem with this type of service is that they always have a very limited selection of songs; especially those based in the US. All you can download is R&B, rap and some American Pop Idols. Nah, I am not going to use this service.
It is inconceivable that all the previous users of the old Napster/Audiogalaxy/Kazza/WinMX will pay for music when they have been downloading it off the net for free all those years ago. I'd rather buy them on CD media than having a file on my HDD (I have well over 600 original CDs purchased in HK and Japan and 0 mp3 tracks on my HDD that I do not already own on the cd).
Why buy the music when you can still get it for free? $9.95 per CD is still expensive just to have a burned copy of a CD. Most used CD shops will sell you a CD for $6-8 and it's not burned.
No. Original Napster could let you go to someone's files and have a chat while DL. It was fun and that was part of the success.
I would rather use WinMX and other file sharing services and obtain the music for free. $9.95 is way too much to pay to download an album. Until the record industry significantly reduces the prices it charges, and accordingly reduces the payments to artist then the whole recording industry lacks credibility. OK, so its the record companies that lose out because of services like Kazaa, but equally, its the consumer who loses out when artists such as Robbie Williams receive payments of 80 million. Where is the sense in that amount of money being paid to a singer?
Andy C, England
I used to use Napster because of the availability of music of all types and rare mixes, that I could NEVER find in music shops. Also, some of the home made mixes and remixes were also very interesting. I only hope that Napster keep this KEY aspect and don't push the latest "pop" drivel, er "music". In a perfect world, if Napster could have catalogued all the music that was available from file share, then used this to base their pay-per-download/monthy subscription service on, at least then fans would get what they were expecting before the service was pulled.
I understand that this would be expensive/impossible for Napster to buy the full catalogue, but the music industry should pump in the cash and see Napster as "serving" the music industry to help boost sales. Welcome to the next generation - feel free to join in any time music industries of the world!
Rob Walton, England
Everyone nowadays likes to get everything free. Thats why Napster had such a huge fan base. I reckon that they have coal mine on their hands, not a gold mine. I will personally will keep using Kazaa, and then when that's eventually closed, some other genius will make something else. And I wouldn't say open source music loses music companies business....
They have a way of spreading their music all other the world. Increasing their fans. I would then buy a CD to repect the artist. The artists should more likely pay them to advertise their music.
Michael Coleman, Dorset, England
Let's see... I can download unrestricted mp3s for nothing from Kazaa, or I can pay Napster to rent Digital Rights Management [sic] crippled data that's tied to my specified copy of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Media Player with a revokable license. Gosh, that's a tough choice!
The price is right, but they need to stop treating us like thieves by insisting on DRM crippling. It's hard enough to compete with free, but offering a worse service isn't the way to do it.
Colin MacDonald, Scotland
Surely Napster must be aware that IMesh, Kazaa and many other peer to peer file sharing applications dominate the underground MP3 community. While these applications are freely and easily available on legitimate sites who is going to pay for MP3s? Maybe the current unforgiving legal action being taken by the music industry will scare people into paying for music over the web. Napster was the best but it spawned loads of other sharing programmes and now most of them boast at least 2 million users online at any one time.
The culture of home computer users has to change. For a while we have enjoyed a free ride from downloading music to expensive software for nothing. Even most people's installation of Windows are from questionable sources.
It is getting to a stage now that if you want to protect your home pc from virus's or other security infringements you really should have legitamate software. Most people have become reliant on their home pc and it is no longer just a luxury. When you are that dependant on something don't start complaining when it breaks and you haven't paid a bean.
For all those people who used ripped off software etc they deserve all the viruses and pc corruption that's thrown at them!
If this WAS the same Napster - in other words a file-trading service with the ability to look through other users' music collections - then this might be an interesting proposition.
But 'Napster 2.0' is in fact a rebranded version of Pressplay, the subscription service created by Universal and Sony. The inspiration behind the software which kick-started digital music has been extinguished.
Joe Gibson, UK
It's nice that it's coming back, but to be honest, they're dead. It's hard to resurrect something that was free for years as a pay site.
Dennard Summers, US
Yet another case of the music industry fooling and fleecing the public, providing low-fi content at a high price - 99 cents for 128 Kbs I don't think so - now give me 256 or 320 Kbs for 50 cents and you're talking.
It's another step in the right direction for the music industry. I gave up buying and playing CDs a long time ago. My entire music collection is stored on my hard drive, and all my new music (including radio) now comes through the Apple iTunes service where you can buy individual tracks for a dollar. It's nice not to be forced to buy an entire album when you only like a couple of songs on it.
Glenn Barker, Canada
I really doubt that this 'Napster 2.0' will take off at all. Services such as Kazaa will continue to be the most popular; and even when they get shut down, it won't be difficult for some software programmers to launch another service, and another, and another... Personally, I cannot see an end to the conflict between music companies and people who are sick and tired of paying through the nose to listen to the work of people who are largely in the business because they love music.
Ben Bishop, England
The idea of legitimately owning the music is great - much better than illegally downloading tracks. Paying 99c per track for the tracks that you like is also fair - no more paying for tracks that I don't like. But when are these sites going to offer tracks of full CD quality? And yes there are free compression algorithms which can half the size of a raw wav file (ie FLAC) - and in these days of high speed Internet ...
What's all the fuss about? Time will tell how successful Napster will be. In my view, the company behind its re-instatement will probably realise that it's not going to be as successful as before, but there you go! More money than sense! They only paid for the name.
For a legal download to really attract Kazaa users, they need to offer access to virtually every piecs of music ever released. They may only focus mainy on big names such as Eminen, Britney, this would be a serious error. MP3s of these artists are by far the easiest to download. It's the millions of lesser tracks that people would buy that rarely show up on Kazaa that legal sites should focus on.
Napstar was the best so manys years ago... but there's a new king of internet downloads, and that's Kazaa and Kazaa lite. I don't think Napster will be able to match the variety of services both the kazaas can offer. There will be stiff competion between the two download servers, however for now kazaa remains the best.
C Dickinson, England
I always pay for my music, I think that people who download pirated music are not only causing problems for the music industry, but for themselves when they find that the quality can be somewhat poor. At least with music bought from the record stores, I get the added bonus of watching the music videos as well as listening to the tracks. People who download pirated music are giving organised crime a boost, and ruining our music industry at the same time. I think it's disgusting copying music for free, absolutely disgusting.
Jangir Rehman, UK
It's a good idea, but I don't think it will be able compete with the free and secure services like WASTE or the already established and popular pay services such as the iTunes Music Store provided by Apple. It's just not probable that the masses will pay to bring back the old king of free services when there are so many alternatives that have already replaced it.
Brandon Torrigino, Egypt
Napster is too little too late. Apple iTunes music store for Windows will beat it by 2 weeks. Napster is relying on a closed propriety format (Windows Media with copy protection) whereas Apple is using open standards (MP4, MP3, AIFF, WAV all with relaxed copy protection). Napster is not compatible with iPod, the number one MP3 player available.
Berkeley, CA., USA
What with the new UK law next month that if you swap files (just music I think?) on p2p, you can get 2 years in jail! If Napster caters for us British, and the payment methods are widely available, I'd pay..... beats going to jail!
Peter Laws, UK
Napseter 2.0 is doomed to failure, not so much because of the free file sharing services but because the public has still to see a drastic price drop. The price for an online virtual cd is nearly the same as a physical shop bought copy I can play on a cd player. Unless I see a pricing change I hope this example of a rip off fails and fails quickly.
Raskolnikov, United Kingdom
Will I be able to take these tracks from my hard drive and sell them at the local used cd shop if I don't like them or get tired of them? I can see very little in the way of pride of ownership here, and at 99 cents, the price seems over inflated for something who's value has depreciates by 100% the instant it has been purchased.
Michael Day, USA
Why would anyone use any of these services, itunes, napster 2.0 etc...A programme called Soul Seek has a larger selection then all of them combined, plus there is alot of rare stuff...heck SoulSeek is better than Audio Galaxy and Napster in their glory days. The music industry has to start treating people like they have brains instead of dumping this top 40 pop garbage on us.
As a Linux user, I cannot use Napster. As more and more countries and home users consider moving away from the bug and virus-ridden Microsoft world, perhaps Napster should re-evaluate their 'Microsoft only' strategy.
William Smith, Malaysia
Make no mistake - this is NOT the Napster we grew to love. A large company (Roxio I believe) have simply bought the rights to the name. The real Napster died a long time ago.
Will I use it? No, of course not. It's not just the fact that music can still be got for free, but the audio files from these sites are so heavily protected they're almost useless.
DRM forces everyone on Windows to use Windows Media Player (a useless playback device) to play these files and therefore the files are not in the favoured MP3 format. Not only are the record companies not happy with keeping the prices of CD artificially high, they want to completely restrict the files we have PAID for. It's a joke...
I admit, I use Napster and other sites like it, but I still think that we should be supporting the music industry. If you are in a local band and is trying to get noticed, a good way is to use MP3s and whatnot, but once you get gigs, you won't be making any money whatsoever, because everbody will be downloading your music instead of buying the albums. Support the industry.
Graham Tilsley, Canada
I reckon that these new online music offerings are intersecting the threshold of our moral obligation to legally obtain music online at the right level. Personally, I am not prepared to buy a CD at the current pricing levels. I am willing to pay 99c or a fraction more though.
Tigere Machonisa, New Zealand
Napster revived is like buying music from a discount place like K-Mart. Sure it is less expensive but still full of unreasonable profits. I do not think this is going to work until the artist take their business online and cut out the greedy middle layer.
M Husain, US
I welcome the opportunity to buy tracks and albums that I like. I think that $9.95 is way too high for an album but time will tell. However who is going to police this service? I can choose where I download from. I can go to Kazaa or to the new Napster service and therefore choose whether I pay for music or not. A good idea whose time has come but I forsee an uphill journey before people will pay for stuff that they can have for free.
Low quality and high prices... and the recording industry wonders why it is struggling?
The original Napster was lightning in a bottle. The "New Coke" of Napster is doomed. The death watch starts now. I give it 100 days.
Dennis J. Glover, Canada
Why are people talking about the return of the 'Napster Service'.
This is nothing of the sort - it's just a shrewd business buying in a globally recognised brand-name to try and gain an advantage over rivals for a service that has nothing to do with the orginal brand.
The fact that they are re-opening Napster as a pay site just goes to iluustrate the recording industry hasn't a clue to what the problem is.
How many times have I paid for the same album on LP, 8-track, cassette, CD. I have paid 4 times for many of my songs. Give me a lifetime ownership and free replacement dloads for an album and I might be interested. Until then Kazaa or whatever replaces Kazaa is the route I'll take.
They are clutching at straws if they think the brand will carry them. The only people who will use the service are people who aren't really that familiar with downloading music. Why? Becasue anyone who is familiar with it will know that you can get it for free...
G Sanchez, Cardiff, UK
This will massively reduce the industry's distribution and production costs and they still want to charge us the same money.
They're having a laugh.
I see this as a positive move. No one with any sense can attempt to excuse copyright theft, if a musician creates something then it is their property and they should be paid for it. It's no different from growing potatoes etc.
However I think that the industry has to realise that people like to listen to music first to find out if they like it. I centainly am not in the habit of buying music which I haven't heard, unless it is from the small number of bands who can do no wrong to my ears! Yes it's a good start, now the RIAA et al should stop throwing money at their lawyers, and throw it at their web developers instead.
Martin Williams, UK
I believe the new Napster will struggle as many of its previous users have moved on to other free music download/file swap sites. The legal download services run by more reputable brands are likely to capture those customers willing to pay for their music, leaving Napster and similar services with very few customers.
Chris Jackson, England
Napster pioneered peer to peer filesharing but has been out of the game for too long. There are now too many excellent free alternatives that provide free file sharing; Napster can't expect to re-establish itself as a competitor if it charges for the service.
Graham Walsh, Manchester
It is a good idea to re-launch Napster as a legitimate internet site. The point I would like to make is that downloading music from the internet should not be free as it takes away valuable revenue from record companies and emerging artists.
I do not mind having to pay for quality music from the internet as I know that some of the revenue gained from my money will go into the development and signing of new bands and artists within the music industry.
G. Scott, UK
But this strategy could also have a detrimental effect on legal MP3ssales. if more people are able to buy obscure MP3s from legal sites, these will then filter their way onto the P2P sites as well.
The genie is well and truly out of the bottle. And as more and more people go broadband, soon people will think nothing of emailing albums to each other directly, who needs Kazaa . . .
I'd be happy to use a music download service that sells single MP3s for 99 cents (or even 99 pence); it'd be great for tunes that you hear on the radio or whatever. But they have to be proper MP3s and not some bizarre restricted format; if the labels think I'll pay for a version more restricted than the one I could get free, they can think again.
Music piracy took off in such a big way because people realised that all they were wanting was the information, the music, and that the format was irrelevant, that they were paying a tenner or more for something that probably cost less than twenty pence to produce.
Charging a tenner for the same content but now with almost no cost to the company is clearly INSANE.
Past users of peer-to-peer networks are far too savvy to pay for their music when with only a few clicks, it's still free. Stating the obvious - music companies will have to come down substantially in price to make it worthwhile for regular music downloaders to start actually paying for their products - but then surely they've known that for years...
Sharon Hupp, Canada
This model of pay-per-download will never work until you can get every single piece of music from a single source. Imagine if you had to go to Virgin Megastore to buy an EMI record because that was all they sold, and then had to go to HMV to buy a Sony record, or to Woolworths to get music from a Vivendi artist. It would just be impractical, as it is to be signed up to 5 or 6 different music subscription services just to get music from different artists. Until the issues of price and conveniance are resolved, free P2P sites will continue to be the most popular!
Rory Lewis, GB
Napster, schmapster! People like me are sick and tired of paying for a cd that costs as little as 10p to make, and yet in music shops they sell for a minimum price of £12.99! What a rip-off! Napster only attracted 60million users because it was free, it aint gonna get that figure back on its side!
Rav Panesar, UK,Leeds
Napster, like many of the legal music sites need to offer more tracks, 500,000 may seem a lot but many of the tracks offered on these sites are not the latest top tunes. These sites tend not to update often enough either. To win the war against piracy all music needs to be put online. Despite these facts the quality of the tracks offered on these legal music download sites are superb! I welcome the new Napster with welcome arms!
Matthew Aston, Great Britain
If the RIAA had helped Napster develop a way to "go legit" instead of immediately suing, the business wouldn't be in the mess it is today.
Nobody in the P2P world is taking this new 'Napster' seriously. Yes it's got the name but Roxio is sorely mistaken if it thinks it will get even a tiny percent of Napster's former users back. Besides, many of us have declared war on the music industry and have absolutely no intention of paying for music ever again. Next!
Definitely a step in the right direction.
To answer Dale's question with another question, if everything you pay for in life could be stolen as easily as digital music, would you pay for anything?
Napster and Microsoft in the same sentence is already a turn-off.
Ed Falcis, USA
Napster was the first to enable file swapping. Copycats followed quickly after its demise. I think it's time music lovers get used to paying for what they download. Napster's huge name and new fee-based service will surely draw this fan - provided they price monthly subscriptions reasonably.
I'll stick with Kazaa, thank you very much.
United States of America
The idea with them being free was that it was illegal to do so, which is why they went down in the first place. It has been done before, but it is much cheaper to get them online this way. It all comes down to the audio quality of the site.
Dave Gower, England
I don't think anyone will use it, but then again someone did find out how to charge for bottled water, now a huge market.
When will they ever learn? They should bring the price in low and move it up later if they want to end the dominance of sites such as Kazaa. Paying nearly a dollar for a track is only inviting to the occasional user. It still poses the same problem of choice that has driven people to using free download communities. I would not want to pay a dollar a time to decide whether I like a song (unless they are providing free streaming listens).
And the price they have listed isn't far from the cost of buying the CD itself. You can't approach this problem with the same pricing structure that you have used for CDs, that is one of the contributing factors to the success for free download sites in the first place. Oh and by the way, most people buy the album eventually anyway, they just want to decide for themselves as opposed to having a decision forced on them by a mass marketing campaign.
Lee Gibbons, England
It was a bad news when Napster was closed down, and I am very happy to know it is back. No matter if the songs are free or not. It was one of the greatest sites and I hope it will stay the same.
I doubt if Napster will be able to reclaim its users for a fee.
Ace Ventura, Atlanta, USA
Do they seriously think its going to be as popular as the original Napster? I think they need to snap out of there dream world, The reason Napster was originally so popular was because the music was free... and there are still lots of people out there using other P2P software programmes and still sharing for free. I cant see too many people opting for napster and paying for music... I believe Napster will flop.
Raj, Great Britain
The whole point of Napster was that it was free and had virtually any song you could ever want on it, including rare demos and remixes that it would be impossible to buy in a shop. Paying will seem pointless when you can just use Kazaa to locate the same stuff for free!
A Benson, England
Free services will still be able to offer a greater range of files at no cost. Other free programmes also have the ability to share other media files such as movies. The new Napster's greatest attraction will be its name.
I welcome the move, since it might allow me to purchase rare b-sides and occasional album tracks and singles.
Saying that, I'll still use the free ones to get mp3s of tracks I already own on vinyl and cassette. I've paid once already so it just saves me doing the conversion myself, which I'm quite capable of doing, but too lazy to do sometimes.
People should pay for songs they have in at least one format.
Why pay for it, when you can get it for free from so many places!
Nice try, better luck next time!
A welcome return. I note that a system requirement is Windows Media Player though. It doesn't really help those of us using other operating systems. Do record companies really want to stop piracy?