Napster Subscription - Napster Offers

Ever since becoming a full fledged online pay service, Napster has been proactive in introducing a series of innovative services to their members. Many newcomers to the Napster site mistakenly believe that it is operated along the same lines as the Apple iTunes music store. However, the Apple iTunes music store is primarily used as an a la carte service where users can sample songs, purchase individual songs or whole full length albums, and purchase certain music videos or TV show episodes.

While Napster does offer a similar a la carte option to its users, it also offers other subscription plans, and has recently made the effort to penetrate mobile and satellite radio markets through its latest services.

Napster for Free

This popular service allows Napster users or visitors, to listen to any song in the Napster catalogue for up to three times for free. After that, the user can choose to download that music or become a Napster Member.

Napster Light

This is the Napster a la carte service which allows users to search for songs, full length albums and music videos which they can then purchase and download onto their computer. Once that song has been purchased, it is yours to keep forever which means that you can burn it onto a CD or load it onto your digital music player without any restrictions.

Napster Member

This subscription level allows users to access and stream an unlimited amount of song or video files from Napster's extensive music library. The Napster Member level is primarily aimed at those users who listen to music from their PCs using a broadband connection. Listeners can listen to as many songs as they wish, but they cannot download them. It is kind of like having your own radio station that comes fully stocked with an extensive music library. You can play as many songs and videos as you choose, but you cannot download them for permanent use. That is, you cannot "keep" any of the songs or music videos that you stream through your broadband connection.

Napster to Go

As its name implies, this is a music service that Napster offers to its listeners on the go. The Napster to Go model was first launched in late 2004 and it allows Napster users to transfer as many music files onto their digital music players as they want.

However, there are a couple of 'catches' to this service -

  • You must have a Microsoft Janus-compatible MP3 player. Many popular digital music players, such as the Sony Walkman or Apple iPod, are not compatible with Napster files.
  • You can only listen to the songs on your digital music player for as long as your subscription is active. If you terminate your subscription to Napster to Go, you no longer have access to these music or video files.

Napster Mobile

One of the latest offerings from Napster is Napster Mobile although at the time of writing (January 2007), the service is only available in Japan. It represents a collaboration between Napster and DoCoMo, a mobile Internet platform that is used by over forty million mobile subscribers in Japan.

With the introduction of Napster Mobile, users are able to access high quality full length music files and ring tones using the iMode platform on their mobile handsets.

Users of Napster Mobile can access an unlimited number of music programming features including news about their favorite artists and information on new releases together with personalized recommendations.

The cost of using Napster Mobile in Japan is roughly $3 per month which allows users to browse Napster's vast library of songs and ring tones using over the air technology.