Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Napster Goes DRM Free

I would have posted this yesterday, but I wasn't around. All the major record labels are supporting Napster's new DRM free record store, probably in some vain attempt to weaken apple's dominant position.

Really, this isn't about being DRM free, it's all about being iPod compatible, since music stores need to be able to support the iPod. Which is why apple's DRM free store only has limited label support, but, it still has the advantage of seamless integration into the iTunes library which is how most iPod owners get their music onto their device. I don't think most mainstream users really care about DRM sufficiently to care, they only really notice when it goes wrong - like the recent end of line on MSN music store content.

Ultimately, this doesn't make the Napster subscription service any more attractive, the subscription content is still DRM controlled so that it self destructs when accounts get terminated. It's unlikely to help their subscription numbers, and unlikley to convert existing iTMS users, but it does make Napster a little closer to what it once was.

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