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Napster Debuts Web-Based Subscription Service

Napster LLC has launched Version 4 of its music subscription service, a Web-based service that gives subscribers access to the company’s music collection, and allows them to play those tracks on any computer connected to the Internet without the need to download additional software.

“Consumers want their digital music to be available wherever they are,” says Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group. “By migrating to the Web and eliminating the need to download any software, Napster has taken a significant leap forward, making it possible for subscribers to access its complete catalog—and more importantly, their own Napster music library—whenever and wherever they have access to the Internet.”

Version 4 provides subscribers with a music catalog of 5 million tracks. Subscribers must sign in to the new cross-platform application available on PC, Mac and Linux from an Internet Explorer or Firefox Web browser. It also provides access to any saved tracks, albums or playlists.

Reportedly, V.4 debuts a fresh design, easy navigation and intuitive user interface. New features include Napster automix, an automated music recommendation/discovery tool that, with a single click, finds and plays hours of music that is similar to the current track a subscriber is listening to, streaming a customized playlist based on the Napster community’s musical preferences. It also offers access to Billboard charts, genre pages, new releases, radio stations, staff picks, other subscriber’s music collections and more. Subscribers can also use pre-programmed playlists across a variety of genres and themes, and have the ability to create and view customized playlists. Plus, subscribers have access to exclusive content that is available first on Napster.

The V. 4 client user interface mirrors the Web-based service. PC-based subscribers can use the client to manage their music collection, rip and burn CDs, and transfer tracks to a compatible portable device.

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