Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Napster, the Legal Version

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I bought an MP3 player a few weeks agbo to take on my rides with me. With this remarkable piece of technology, I got a free month of "Napster to Go," the service they've been trying to advertise against ITunes (or any other service selling for 99c a song). The premise is a flat monthly fee of about 15 bucks for "unlimited downloads."

I'll admit up front that I don't understand (nor do I really care about) all of the recording industry/online music service whoha. Whatever. Just describe a service to me, and then do what you advertise.

Well, because I had a free month with the purchase of the MP3 player, I thought I'd give it a try.

Let us just say that I'll be canceling before I have to pay.

My first issue is that once you get in and start browsing songs, you find that not all of the songs are actually free to download. Many of the groups (Queen, Dave Matthews, Rush) have some or even most of their songs with the 99c pricetag on them. WTF? Isn't this what I was paying to avoid?

Next, the interface is less than friendly. Pushbuttons all over the place (top, bottom, left, right).

Napster was apparently down one day when I was getting ready for a ride, and I couldn't even alter my playlists or connect to my MP3 player to change anything with the songs I already had.

The final staw happened today when I spent 2 hours working on my playlists. I thought I was searching out a song here and a song there from a bunch of different groups and downloading them. I hit the download button by the song. It didn't send me any error message. Now, it also never notes that you have pulled it off either. Anyways, at the end of the two hours, I go to the download screen expecting to see about 60 or 70 songs stacked up there to move to my player, and there were 4.

So I checked the status of my account, and went snooping to see if I had hit some sort of limit, and didn't see it anywhere (and even if I did, it should have given me an error message). Tried to download some more, and nothing.

So I'm out.


Blogger Michael J. Hercus said...

If you've decided to make the leap and actually pay for your songs like I do, iTunes is the way to go. Unfortunately, that also means an iPod and not just your everyday MP3 player. I'm well over 2000 songs in and I have had only 1 minor complaint and that was dealt with quickly and to my reasonable satisfaction. The only thing you may want to be aware of is that iPods are HD driven and I wouldn't trust it in a heavy motion situation like jogging. I guess it depends on how bumpy your bike rides get ;-)

1:54 AM  
Blogger stuffle said...

I'd have to second "i am mike" on the iPod/iTunes suggestion. My wife, my daughter, and I each have one, and I have setup a $10 / month allowance on iTunes for each of us. It works out great...

9:18 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

You can't convince me to spend any more money on Apple :) Tied up with too many memories of my old company and people who thought they understood computers.

Actually, I think I'm done spending money on music services, at least until the figure out what it is they are allowed to sell and can stick with it.

Currently I have a stack of Itunes purchased music marooned on a machine. Already very frustrated with that. Should be able to burn or transfer, but what a pain it has been. It seems like each release of Itunes sucks away some functionality.

I'll just buy the CDs and transfer the damn things.

2:08 PM  

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