I've just had an email to say that Napster UK is going to become part of Rhapsody.
Is that a good thing? What does Rhapsody do that Napster doesn't?
I don't see it as a bad thing..in fact, I think they mentioned that starting March, they're going to add some improvements to the service (speed and sound quality wise at least). I don't mind using Rhapsody, but their music downloading option is really awful; in fact, I never downloaded music with Napster either, I always preferred recording from both Napster and Rhapsody music streams, it's more convenient.
I have used downloading of the "free" tracks with my Napster subscription. This is going to change, though it's not a deal breaker for me. After March there won't be any such free downloads.
Originally Posted by georgek
I have found the sound quality with Napster to be variable, and usually not so good as Spotify, but actually it's often quite good. I can't really comment on recording from streams, though I wouldn't expect it to be particularly good compared with downloads. If they are improving the SQ that will be a good thing.
Napster has had a form of "music to go" service for a while which is available for some subscribers - for mobile users to pre-store content for later playback. I've never used that. Spotify has the "off-line" feature, which can be used effectively to make recordings. I hardly ever use that either, though there are circumstances where that could be useful.
Are we to be given more choice of content with Rhapsody?
Does Napster still allow/encourage people to break the Copyright legislation by downloading commercially-recorded stuff for free? (& paying a subscription doesn't count as 'payment')
I don't know the details. I don't think so - it's only streamed. However they have had "mobile" versions where copies are made to some form of non-volatile storage. It's not necessarily breaking copyright law - it will depend what rights the copyright holders have negotiated and granted to Napster. Spotify and other services will have the same issues.
Originally Posted by Flosshilde
Your comment about subscription not counting as payment will depend on behind the scenes agreements. This is always the way when you ask any organisation to offer you services. You don't concern yourself with how the phone system works, for example, whether your company has negotiated with other companies around the world to route your phone calls, whether they have negotiated with carrier companies to actually send your phone traffic etc. I think you can get too worried about what goes on. When you go to a shop to buy something you assume that they have acquired the goods properly and are allowed to sell them to you. It's simpler to assume that the agents you deal with have done all the behind the scenes stuff correctly, and have followed reasonable and correct legal procedures.
Re the change to Rhapsody, I've just had an email pointing out that existing Napster members need to select a plan with Rhapsody before March 19th, otherwise they'll lose their account, and all their playlists etc. The ability to download a few tracks each month is being taken out of the contract, but arguably other aspects will be similar or possibly even better with more variety. The point is, seemingly, that every Napster member does need to take some action before March 19th - which is Monday.
Dave2002 - Your recent experience brings back memories. I recommend Spotify.
By the time I bought a computer, Napster were strictly legit. They appealed to me because they had started small and broken new ground rather than being a multinational thing from the outset. The Napster library was huge. The payment plans were very good value if people wanted to download a lot of music as I did. I expected to be loyal to Napster for ever more.
Things happened. Licences to tracks were frequently removed. It became a chore waiting for tracks to return, if at all, and downloading them again. As volume of downloads increased, the system started to freeze up and in the end it became virtually unusable. And then the messing about with the payment plans on account of the fact that the business model wasn't viable. What this meant was that anyone who had chosen to download rather than stream had just a few weeks to turn all of the downloads into streams. What a nightmare that was because by that time I had thousands of downloads.
Initially it was too much to face, what with being in work, and so I headed to Spotify. The library wasn't as good but it was almost as good. On balance, I decided to stay with Napster and spent days changing everything across to a stream. But then having done all the work I eventually had to cross to the free service offered by Spotify for financial reasons. By that time I was quite irritated anyway that Napster appeared to be putting new business ahead of the interests of long term customers. I believe I was told that anything I had transferred from download to stream on Napster would still be able to be saved on disk if I left. So I tried to do that over many hours, it didn't work, and it just confirmed that the change to Spotify was right.
I liked the design of both Napster and Spotify but preferred Napster because of familiarity. Now I prefer Spotify. Also, Spotify freezes far less on my computer. Tracks can be scrolled on lists to arrange alphabetically and can even be automatically placed in alphabetical order. These are big pluses. The library has now expanded and would be hard to beat. Unfortunately, the number of commercials on Spotify changed from bearable to unbearable so I found that I had to move to a payment plan. I am still paying far less than I was doing on Napster. It will no doubt change for the worse as they all do but currently I am very satisfied with it.
Last edited by Lateralthinking1; 17-03-12 at 08:43.
I've often thought that. And surely YouTube falls in to this category too.
Originally Posted by Flosshilde
I thought I'd replied to this, but it seems my reply went into the bit bucket. Napster used to be a file sharing service based on peer to peer technology. After quite a few legal battles, it eventually changed its business model to what I assume was a proper subscription service, and streamed out licensed copies of its collection to subscribers.
Having warned people about the changeover to Rhapsody I must say that I've been hit myself. There were comments sent by email that I should change my package, but really next to no guidance as to how that should be done. I logged on recently to see what had happened. There was a page of questions and answers, but virtually none relevant to keeping playlists active. My playlists don't show.
I was busy yesterday so forgot to login, and now my playlists have indeed gone. I can still use the service though, although from I've heard the quality has not improved (it wasn't great to start with, though was on many occasions at least tolerable).
This is beginning to seem like a rather badly handled changeover, and I wonder if I'll ever be able to get my playlists back. A shame if not, as I'd collected some interesting oddities together - though not totally the end of the world as I've still got Spotify.
There is a warning here though - if we start to become too reliant on digital streaming and/or downloads. At least with CDs and DVDs they are still playable as long as there players available, and of course the digital data can be ripped to hard drive and played from there or from memory.
I'll wait a day or two to see if things settle down, and/or if I can recover my playlists, and if the new features add anything new. If not, it might be time to save money and say goodbye to Napster/Rhapsody.
After all the warnings it seems that I still have a Napster/Rhapsody account, and I can log in at least. Not sure if the sound quality is the same as before. It's certainly no worse, and may be better. It looks as though they did manage to copy all of my playlists over, so the only thing left is to sort out the billing/payment, as I think I can only get 30 second sound samples right now. Doesn't seem like a total snafu, but nevertheless not exactly a seamless changeover. They didn't even "think" (probably done by a computer anyway!) to email me to keep me informed, and to induce me to sign back in again. Bit clueless really, but at "only" £5 per month I'm willing to give this another go.