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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Looks like Apple is coming up against stiff music-service competition these days. First there was RealNetworks, and now Microsoft is getting into the act. It sounds like its service will look very similar to the popular iTunes online music service, with one big difference: Music files will be saved to your devices in the WMA format, allowing for a broader distribution to various handhelds. Microsoft stands to gain some increased revenue in the form of increased advertising dollars on its MSN Website. They also hope to spread the appeal of the Windows Media file format.
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Competition is a good thing. Real, for a limited time, is offering songs for half the price of most digital music services. While most offer digital downloads for $0.99 USD per song (or $9.99 USD per album), Real has priced their music at $0.49 per song and $4.99 per album. On top of that, the company is using new software technology, Harmony, that will allow songs downloaded from their music store to be playable on all Apple iPods. As of now, Apple leads all other digital music services, with more than 100 million downloads sold to date.
Read More | CNN Money
The colleges that have signed up with the Napster University Program this far include Cornell University, George Washington University, Middlebury College in Vermont, University of Miami, University of Southern California, Wright State University, Penn State University, and University of Rochester.
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