We all rent movies instead of buying them. Sure, sometimes we just love a movie so much that we buy it. For the most part though, you just rent movies since you know you will only watch it a couple of times and that’s it. The same thing can be said for music. You buy songs or download them if they are free, listen to them a few times and never listen to them again. So why don’t we just rent music instead of buying the tracks? Napster answers the call. Napster is currently beta testing a music rental service where a user may subscribe for $15 a month and have access to unlimited downloads. The tracks a user downloads can be used on players that support Microsoft Windows Digital Rights Management technology, Janus. Sorry iPod users, for now the service only supports players made by Samsung, Rio and Creative. The Napster service also requires the user to update their license on a monthly basis. If the user does not have a valid subscription anymore, the song cannot be played. This is a nice concept, however if the iPod does not get an update to support this technology, this service will not get the full amount of users that it’s capable of reaching. After all, who wants to pay 99 cents a song when they can get unlimited songs a month for only $15? Of course if you go the free route, you will always be looking out for the R.I.A.A.
Read More | BBC News
You are a hip, young, internet user. This means you like free music, no matter how you get it. If you are a new iPod user, you have been treated to a free album download on iTunes when you first synched your iPod to your PC, titled “Universal Motown New Music Sampler”. While it isn’t a compilation of huge hits, it’s still nice to get 13 tracks of music for free. But what about those of us that have had iPods for a while, or just use iTunes but don’t want Apple’s MP3 player? You too can download the Motown New Music Sampler free of charge. How so? Simple be sure you have iTunes installed on your PC, and click this link.
Looks like Virgin and Tapwave are taking steps to establish a bigger presence in the portable audio market. Today’s announcement from the CES Show floor indicates that the two are working together to pair up the Virgin music download service with the versatile handheld, which through the help of SD cards, could store up to 2GB of music. Details are still unclear as to how the two devices will work seamlessly, but I can imagine an option on the Virgin service that allows transfers directly to the SD card, with minimal mouse-clicks. Virgin’s downloadable songs are going for $.99 each, while the Zodiac sells for $269.
It’s not that I am old by any means, but I remember going into a diner and being able to pop 50 cents into a little machine on my table and listening to some music while I waited for my food. You will notice that these days you don’t see many of these. One company is trying to change that. eCast has developed a Digital Jukebox system that works over existing broadband connections. You can listen to any song that is contained in their database. The neat thing is, if you visit their website, you can see the last song that was download and where it was downloaded from.
Read More | The Boston Globe
A few days ago we presented our 2004 Holiday Gift Guide. 2004 has also been a great year in music, and we at Gear Live have put together this Christmas shopping list for the music fan in your life. From CD’s to DVD’s to books, every aspect of the music world is covered. So go out, and get your hands on this stuff, for a family member, friend, or even yourself.
This week may have marked the passing of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but the Wu-Tang Legend lives on in their latest greatest hits release. We also take a look at the latest release from the late John Lennon. If you are looking for something truly unique, check out our review of DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing”. All this and more in this weeks Playlist.
I can remember when Napster was the only game in town. These days, thanks to Roxio's aquisition, it's relaunching itself as a subscription-based music service, in the face of some very stiff competition. Here's the deal: For $10 a month you get unlimited access to more than 750,000 songs that you can play only on your computer. This model provides a better profit margin for Napster, which doesn't have proprietary music players to support its business, ala Apple. That's looking to change soon however, with this Fall's upcoming launch of Napster To Go, which will allow users to transfer their songs to other compatible music players, for an additional $5 a month.
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Read More | Wired News