October 16, 2007 - 6:50 am - Posted by iDunzo
The new Napster 4.0 sees the company ditching its desktop application in favor of an browser-based client in an effort to expand its market.
That should be good news for Mac and Linux users who have, until 4.0, been locked out of Napster’s Windows-only model.
Napster’s service will remain subscription-based, with prices at $10 to $15 a month. You can still listen to samples for free, but you’ll only get 30 seconds worth.
The new web-based player sits in a pop-up window and behaves more or less like clients from Last.fm or Pandora.
The web-based client means you can access your music from a wider range of devices — at the very least you can fire it up from any computer.
Christopher Allen, chief operating officer at Napster, tells Reuters:
“with this new platform Napster can easily be integrated into consumer electronics devices or integrated into other Web sites such as social networking sites.”
Is Napster headed for your Facebook page? Certainly sounds like it, though no further details have been announced.
Napster claims around 770,000 subscribers, but lags far behind industry leader iTunes and with Amazon now in the digital downloads game, the market is increasingly crowded.
Napster tries to offer the best of both worlds — allowing streaming audio in the new web-client and subscription-based downloads but clearly most people seem to prefer the iTunes/Amazon buy-single-tracks model.