Roxio is gearing up to release Napster 2.0, a subscription-based music service that will reportedly offer nearly half a million songs. Users will be able to access the entire library of musicwith a subscription fee, or pay to download tracks individually, though prices for each haven't yet been revealed.
It looks like Roxio will be heavily banking on the Napster brand with the new service, which should offer a larger music library than BuyMusic.com, Listen.com, and Apple's iTunes Music Store. Though no details have been released on what kind of DRM will be used, I suspect that at least some restrictions will apply. The music probably won't be much higher quality than what's available from the competition, either.
I've yet to see an online music service that would convince me to stop buying CDs, mostly because I'm not particularly into one-hit wonders or low-bitrate audio. However, the fact that there should be four strong and well-funded players in the market can only be good news for consumers. Perhaps over time, competition will bring about an easing of DRM restrictions, lower prices, and even the availability higher quality recordings.
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