Download Lowdown Page 4
Now in its second revamping since turning legit, Napster is both a download music store and a subscription service. Songs, which are available as 128-kbps WMA-DRM files, are 99¢ each (80¢ when you buy a 50-song Track Pack for $39.95) and can be transferred to any PlaysForSure portable. Albums are $9.95, and 30-second samples stream for free. For $9.95 a month, you stream entire songs and download an unlimited number of tracks to three computers, where you can listen to them for as long as your subscription is active.
The innovative Napster To Go option lets you load up to three non-iPods at once - including the Creative Zen Micro, Dell Pocket DJ, and iriver H10 - with more than a thousand songs (as many as can fit) and play them for as long as you pay $14.95 a month. Access to the music is denied if you stop paying.
You can use media receivers like the D-Link DSM-320, Roku SoundBridge, and Omnifi DMS1 to play songs downloaded to your computer's hard drive, including tracks you've downloaded through a subscription but haven't bought. These tracks can then be sent over both wired and wireless networks. Anyone with a Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PC has even more options since you can access Napster from a TV in another room using an HP, Linksys, or Xbox Media Center Extender. The last uses software to turn the gaming console into a networked media receiver, but the forthcoming Xbox 360 includes that capability. Napster.com