by Mike Masnick

The Obligatory Napster 2.0 Launch Story

from the can't-get-away-without-it dept

It's no secret that Roxio is planning to announce the new Napster today. Articles talking about the launch date have been showing up for a while (though, the service won't actually turn on tomorrow, but sometime in the next month). I'd been resisting posting it until more details came out, but from the vast amount of leaked information it looks like there will be no surprises and Napster 2.0 will be a "me too" play that hopes to get by on its name recognition. It's big "innovation" is to offer a subscription service as well as individual downloads for a fee. This is an "innovation"? Wasn't that exactly what most of the "legal" music services have offered over the past few years until iTunes came along? How quickly we forget. The other innovation is that they'll be selling their own Napster portable music player as well (once again, sounds like they're just copying Apple). The service will (of course) contain copy protection from Microsoft, though, the folks at Roxio claim that most people will never notice them. If that's the case, why include them at all? Details should be coming out this morning, but unless anything in the actual details differs substantially from the leaked info, this sounds like another weak attempt. People will test it out - if only because of the name - but will quickly ditch it as they discover it limits what they can do with their music.

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