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KMorgan
2010-01-13, 12:50
Hi

According to Napster FAQs and Napster customer support the majority of tracks are now being streamed at 192kbps WMA. Despite a lot of searching I have yet to find a track that shows up on the Squeezebox info as anything other than 128kbps.

Is this a display issue on the Squeezebox or are Napster telling porkies?

Keith

Japes
2010-01-13, 14:02
Hi

According to Napster FAQs and Napster customer support the majority of tracks are now being streamed at 192kbps WMA. Despite a lot of searching I have yet to find a track that shows up on the Squeezebox info as anything other than 128kbps.

Is this a display issue on the Squeezebox or are Napster telling porkies?

Keith

Napster streams were at 192kbps prior to the new format/pricing. All streams now are at 128kbps. You can still get 192kbps if you go for their 'Napster to Go' package for 15.00 this allows you to download 192kbps drm protected wma files to your computer allowing you to copy them to a compatible player.

KMorgan
2010-01-13, 14:31
Japes

I've had a Napster sub for nearly a year now and the bit rate has been 128kbps throughout. By chance I looked at their FAQs today and read this,


The Napster music that is downloaded to your computer is in MP3 format at 256 Kbps stereo. The majority of tracks that are streamed from the Napster service are offered at 192Kbps. Tracks that are not available at 192Kbps are streamed at 128Kbps.

It definitely used to say 128kbps. Couldn't find any tracks at 192 so I emailed support and got this reply,


At this time, the majority of tracks that are streamed from the Napster service are offered at a bit rate of 192Kbps. Tracks that are not available at 192Kbps are streamed at 128Kbps. We are working on upgrading all of our tracks to a higher bit rate, but unfortunately there is no estimated time table for every track offered in the Napster service.

BTW it seems the To Go option has been removed from their tariffs with the new structure.

Keith

p.s. I've asked them to specify a track known to stream at 192kbps to see what my SB says.

Japes
2010-01-13, 14:42
I'll go and look at their site again, but, everything I stream is at 128kbps.

I have 'napster to go' everything I download is at 192kbps.

You can get 'napster to go' is you call and ask for it!

Off to look at their blurb!

JP

Japes
2010-01-13, 14:55
Right I agree with your quote of what they say you'll get, but it's not what I've experienced. like I said I get 128kbps as a stream & 192kbps as a drm wma download.

If you google info on the revamped service, most articles seem to agree that the stream is 128kbps, many make comment of this against Spotify's 160kbps (free) & 320kbps (premium) services.

JP

andyg
2010-01-13, 15:41
Even if Napster started streaming at 192kbps, the menu would still show 128, because that value is hardcoded in there. At the time it was implemented, that's all they had with no plans to change. If you find a track you think is 192 let me know and I'll confirm.

KMorgan
2010-01-14, 02:04
Andy

Thanks for that. In that case I'll take Napsters word for it that most are at 192kbps.

Keith

toby10
2010-01-14, 04:12
Right .....like I said I get 128kbps as a stream & 192kbps as a drm wma download........

My Napster downloaded music purchases are 256k MP3 and DRM free.
Perhaps your lower bitrate WMA with DRM are from prior purchases when Napster employed DRM?
Maybe regional? UK dl's are different licensing than USA?

Japes
2010-01-14, 05:27
My Napster downloaded music purchases are 256k MP3 and DRM free.
Perhaps your lower bitrate WMA with DRM are from prior purchases when Napster employed DRM?
Maybe regional? UK dl's are different licensing than USA?

The DRM WMA's are part of the 'Napster to Go' deal. I get no DRM free MP3 download allowance on that deal. If I were to purchase MP3 files from Napster, then they would be DRM free MP3's at 256kbps.

On 'Napster to Go' I can download (to my hard drive) an unlimited amount of DRM WMA's to play offline. These are all at 192kbps.

http://www.napster.co.uk/ntg.html

JP

toby10
2010-01-14, 06:14
The DRM WMA's are part of the 'Napster to Go' deal. I get no DRM free MP3 download allowance on that deal. If I were to purchase MP3 files from Napster, then they would be DRM free MP3's at 256kbps.

On 'Napster to Go' I can download (to my hard drive) an unlimited amount of DRM WMA's to play offline. These are all at 192kbps.

http://www.napster.co.uk/ntg.html

JP

OIC, thanks. :)

andyg
2010-01-14, 06:22
There's a lot of different formats Napster uses.

WMA DRM (to-go subscription). These are 192k I believe.
DRM-free MP3 purchases (128k or 256k depending on the album)
WMA streaming (128k)

We only use the 128k WMA streaming format and as far as I can see they are all at 128k. The following chart shows the formats Napster provides for streaming:



Codec Container Bitrates Protocol
Windows Media Audio v9 (WMA) WMA 20, 32, 128 Kbps MMS
MP3 FLV 32, 128 Kbps RTSP / RTMP

KMorgan
2010-01-14, 06:54
This is where I'm confused by Napster as their customer support told me just yesterday...

At this time, the majority of tracks that are streamed from the Napster service are offered at a bit rate of 192Kbps. Tracks that are not available at 192Kbps are streamed at 128Kbps. We are working on upgrading all of our tracks to a higher bit rate, but unfortunately there is no estimated time table for every track offered in the Napster service.


Andy, your comment that the 128kbps track-info on my SBC is hard-written means it cannot be used to check the streaming rate. Is it possible that the higher rate is available but just not requested by Sbox?

I've asked them to please specify a track that they know to be streamed at 192kbps so that I can check it. So far no response.

Anyone know how I can check the actual stream rate when using the Napster web interface or software?

Keith

Japes
2010-01-14, 07:13
I've asked them to please specify a track that they know to be streamed at 192kbps so that I can check it. So far no response.

I've always had the best response ringing them.

If you do get a reply, let us know, cos I'd be interested in your findings :-)

KMorgan
2010-01-15, 04:26
Napster say that with 9 million tracks they don't have a record of what is streamed at what bit rate. So no joy there. However, it would seem fair to assume that the newest releases are streamed at 192kbps. What I'd like to know is...

Is my SB streaming Napster at the highest available bit rate?
Can the SB code be tweaked to show actual bit rate rather than 128kbps regardless?
Is there a way I can check the bit rate in the absence of the above?

Keith

p.s. I should perhaps mention that I'm in the UK. Do Napster stream at different rates dependent on continent?

KMorgan
2010-01-18, 03:24
Bump, for Andy. Any thoughts?

Tks Keith

andyg
2010-01-18, 14:16
Hi guys, I checked 3 random New Releases and they are all streaming at 128kbps:

30 Seconds to Mars - This Is War
BT - Suddenly
David Newman - The Spy Next Door Soundtrack

KMorgan
2010-01-18, 15:18
Thanks for that Andy.

Keith

Apesbrain
2010-11-27, 10:53
Sorry to bump this old thread, but can someone confirm that Napster streams on Squeezebox are still only 128kbps? I've been thinking of switching to save some money but will keep Rhapsody if this is the case. Thanks.

andyg
2010-11-27, 11:48
Yes Napster is still 128k WMA.