Napster to get Christmas rebirth

Date 3-Aug-2003 0:41:28
Topic: Internet News

Music download site Napster will relaunch as a fully legitimate service in time for Christmas, its new owner has said.

Napster gained popularity - and notoriety - as the main hub of unauthorised downloading until it was shut by the music industry in 2001.

The following year, it was bought by Roxio, which makes CD-burning software and is working on relaunching Napster as a legal music site.

The new Napster, called Napster 2.0, is expected to offer the largest authorised online catalogue in the world.

It will have almost 500,000 songs on offer, Roxio chairman and chief executive Chris Gorog said.

Fans will be able to buy music with either a monthly subscription or through one-off purchases.

'Freedom of choice'

Napster 2.0 will also offer customised radio stations and the ability to copy songs onto CDs and other devices, Mr Gorog said.

The key characteristics of the original Napster - "independence, innovation and freedom of choice" - will still be there, he said.

But the aim is to create "the best music site in the world while at the same time respect the artists who created the music we all love".

Roxio bought Napster for $5m in November 2002 and acquired a legitimate download site, Pressplay, earlier this year.

Strong brand

Mr Gorog said some artists had refused to let their songs appear on the new service - but most were "very receptive".

Some 97% of fans recognised the Napster name and about half said they were willing to pay for downloads, he said.

The Napster website currently only offers animations of a Napster creature escaping from hospital, being injured and treated in hospital.

The story of Napster will also be the subject of a feature film.

This article comes from AmigaWorld - Amiga Community Portal

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