Math Is Done: Napster To Go Doesn't Add Up

Whether you like Napster To Go, the online store's new music subscription service, depends on whether you think of it as all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-pay.

Both descriptions are accurate. For $15 a month, Napster To Go offers unlimited song downloads -- in a copy-restricted format that can be played only on Windows XP computers and some digital music players -- but these songs expire if you don't keep paying that fee each month.

Source: Washington Post

Here is BugMeNot.com for convenience. I would be interested to know how many "some digital music players" really is. Here is your answer:

Because this underlying software is so new, Napster To Go is the least compatible music store in existence. You can use it only on a Windows XP computer running Windows Media Player 10, and you can transfer your downloads only to a Windows Media-compatible player that includes special software and circuitry to enforce the pay-to-play deal.

Nine devices are compatible, seven needing software update to work with Napster To Go. Odd licensing limits the actual library available to To Go users. I see that I am not the only one who didn't think this sounded good. It was good to read Rob Pegoraro's first hand account in this Washington Post article.

Consider this example: I have been purchasing CDs for about 20 years now, in which time I've accumulated about 300 of the things. At an average of $15 each, I've spent $4,500. Now suppose that, instead of buying those CDs, I could have opened up a Napster To Go account back in 1985. My total bill would be $3,600 and counting -- and although I might have accumulated a larger, more diverse collection, I wouldn't own any of it.
That is a much better example then I came up with.

Comments (2)

David:

And the really interesting thing is finding how to 'crack' the DRM at Engadget. Hey Ballmer - whose mp3 players are full of stolen music now?

Referring to this Engadget article. I always did like Winamp...

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