PDA

View Full Version : Rhapsody to buy Napster



ajkidle
2011-10-03, 17:37
Surprised to not see a thread discussing this yet. As a long time Rhapsody subscriber, and fan of the underlying business model, I'm happy to see this happening.

Granted, Rhapsody's quality of service is spotty at times -- and this likely will not be seen as good news by Napster subscribers -- but I'm happy to see a sizable alternative to iTunes and the old model of buying music by the track (or album.) I've discovered so much wonderful music on Rhapsody, I just hope they're not stretching themselves too thin here...

Thoughts?


http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/03/rhapsody-announces-plans-to-acquire-napster/

aubuti
2011-10-03, 18:35
Thanks for posting this. A couple years ago I tried both Napster and Rhapsody and stuck with Napster. Both services have their respective strengths, weaknesses, and um, idiosyncrasies. I stuck with Napster because I thought the price point (less than half of Rhapsody) was more in keeping with the service quality. I'm currently trying out Spotify, and so far think it's good, but not wildly impressive. Would love to try MOG on the SB.

I don't agree that Rhapsody swallowing a competitor is a good thing for anyone's customers. Or at least at this point I don't know enough about the deal to conclude that it's a good thing. I think the subscription model will surpass the pay-per-track model, if it hasn't already done so. But why is more concentration of the subscription market a good thing?

If this acquisition goes through, one thing I'll be interested in from a purely selfish POV is how much credit Rhapsody gives me for the 1-year Napster subscription I just renewed two weeks ago. We'll see then just how much of an "asset" they consider Napster customers.

pippin
2011-10-03, 18:52
Well, two services who haven't really heard the shot on how the likes of Spotify are changing the market (by growing their user base by promoting 3rd party involvement and spreading word of mouth through social networks). Usually I'd say they speed up their death but who knows...

It's a pity for Napster's catalog which is the best on the market (still) and I hope they do not shut down the European operations like Rhapsody did.

MeSue
2011-10-03, 22:00
Well, one less service for me to try now. I've only been with Rhapsody a couple of months but am very happy with it, after being disappointed with Spotify's USA launch. I was also impressed with how Rhapsody handled a couple of support queries I had.

They have a FAQ up for Napster customers already.
http://rhapsody.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/857/kw/napster/r_id/166

jo-wie
2011-10-03, 23:52
It's a pity for Napster's catalog which is the best on the market (still) and I hope they do not shut down the European operations like Rhapsody did.

I hope so too.

nervoteso
2011-10-05, 03:12
this is a big problem to me, i've a napster account, cos rhapsody doesn0t work on my squeezebox (7.5.0). anyone know if there are chances to make rhapsody work on SB?

mherger
2011-10-05, 03:18
> this is a big problem to me, i've a napster account, cos rhapsody
> doesn0t work on my squeezebox (7.5.0). anyone know if there are chances
> to make rhapsody work on SB?

You need to update the player's firmware - which probably means update
your server. Rhapsody changed their encryption a few months back.

--

Michael

nervoteso
2011-10-05, 04:06
> this is a big problem to me, i've a napster account, cos rhapsody
> doesn0t work on my squeezebox (7.5.0). anyone know if there are chances
> to make rhapsody work on SB?

You need to update the player's firmware - which probably means update
your server. Rhapsody changed their encryption a few months back.

--

Michael

ok thanks. my server is installed on qnap nas, now everything is working well, so are you sure updating server rhapsody will work fine? also, now lastfm scrobbling is working (i live in italy), do you know if scrobbling is working fine also on 7.6?

nervoteso
2011-10-05, 09:35
i've just read this

NOTE: International Napster Members are unaffected by this change and continue to enjoy Napster in Canada, Germany and United Kingdom.

i've a napster account but i live in Italy (i used a VPN and i wrote a fake usa address), shoud i care about this or not?

aubuti
2011-10-05, 09:39
i've a napster account but i live in Italy (i used a VPN and i wrote a fake usa address), shoud i care about this or not?
Well, since you essentially told Napster that you are in the US and they apparently believed you, I would conclude that yes, your service will be switching to Rhapsody, just like the rest of your "distant cousins" in the US.

jo-wie
2011-10-05, 10:57
i've a napster account but i live in Italy (i used a VPN and i wrote a fake usa address), shoud i care about this or not?

Weird music world, you've to set up some kind of illegal access channel to enjoy a legal payed music service.

pippin
2011-10-05, 11:10
Well, not only music obviously. For football TV rights in Europe, for example, it was just decided by the highest European court that the regional limitations set up by the rights owners are in fact what is illegal, not circumventing them as the pay-tv companies have been telling people.

maggior
2011-10-05, 11:51
Huh, interesting. I tried Napster and Rhapsody and kept Rhapsody. Napster, for the music I was intersted in, had too many tracks that were "30 sec. samples". I use the mobile app too, so the price difference between the two is small (if different at all). Rhapsody's iOS app seems to be more stable that Napster.

I understand what's behind Spotify, but I'm still not seeing what the big deal is. I'm still a subscriber and I'm waiting for the 3rd party apps to start happening. I'm taking a "wait and see" attitude. Spotify's lack of good library management and poor searching are where it needs a lot of attention IMO.

nervoteso
2011-10-05, 14:12
Well, since you essentially told Napster that you are in the US and they apparently believed you, I would conclude that yes, your service will be switching to Rhapsody, just like the rest of your "distant cousins" in the US.

and if i subscribed napster uk?

aubuti
2011-10-05, 14:17
and if i subscribed napster uk?

NOTE: International Napster Members are unaffected by this change and continue to enjoy Napster in Canada, Germany and United Kingdom.
I can only speculate, but if you connect the dots it seems pretty obvious to me. But for an authoritative answer, why don't you call Napster and/or Rhapsody support, explain your situation, and see what they have to say :-)

sle118
2011-11-29, 07:00
Some of you may already have noticed that all the Napster tracks are now limited to a 30 secs preview. After looking for some help on the Napster web site, I found these sad news for Canadian customers like myself.



The ability to create a Napster account and become a new Napster member has been discontinued as of November 17, 2011.

To our current members, thank you for being a valued Napster customer. After seven years of service, Napster Canada will be shutting down all of its services on December 16, 2011. If you are a subscriber, you may continue to use the service as long as your subscription is active and until December 16th. There is no need to cancel - you will not be charged for any subscription fees after our shutdown (and we won't bill you for any renewal that may occur between now and the shutdown).

Whether you are a subscriber or not, if you have purchased and retain any still-unused download credits, be sure to use your remaining download credits before December 16, 2011. After that date they will expire.

If you have a Napster prepaid card good for subscription time or song credits that has not been redeemed on the Napster service at this time, you will need to return to point of purchase to request a refund for your unused card.

Also, we strongly suggest that you back up all of your previously purchased and downloaded tracks because we will not be able to provide any customer support relating to them, including any further backup copies, after December 16, 2011. These downloads are DRM-encoded WMA files and can be backed up by burning them to audio CDs. Doing this will allow you access to your music on any CD player and generally have a maintenance free permanent copy. If you do not back up your purchased Napster music downloads by burning them to CD and you later change or reinstall your computer's operating system, have a system failure or experience DRM corruption, then the downloads will stop playing and you will permanently lose access to them.

We really appreciate your business, and thanks again for listening.

Your friends at Napster


I created a ticket to request support for rdio, which is available here. Please vote for it; create an account if necessary.
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=17794

Also, it would be a good idea if each one of us sent an email to rdio help at the following address and request support for the squeezebox platform. I already sent mine.

help@rd.io

pippin
2011-11-29, 07:08
How nice of them to remind us why you should never, really never, buy DRM'ed music.

MeSue
2011-11-29, 10:20
Some of you may already have noticed that all the Napster tracks are now limited to a 30 secs preview. After looking for some help on the Napster web site, I found these sad news for Canadian customers like myself.

That's a bummer about Napster. I thought I read that Slacker Premium was available in Canada, and it offers on-demand streaming. Unfortunately, Logitech only supports the features of Slacker Basic on the Squeezebox because they have not updated the app since Slacker Premium was introduced earlier this year. I mention it in case you want to add a vote for that enhancement and possibly have another choice for on-demand in Canada.
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=17281

I voted for your Rdio enahncement, too, not because I am in Canada, but because I feel that supporting more services can only be good for Logitech.

pippin
2011-11-29, 10:48
rdio is available in the US, too ;)

jo-wie
2011-11-30, 03:04
Some of you may already have noticed that all the Napster tracks are now limited to a 30 secs preview. After looking for some help on the Napster web site, I found these sad news for Canadian customers like myself.

And it shows again how cloud based music services can be a problem in different countries. Support as many as possible is good, but you can only trust your own library.

I hope some decision makers are aware of that not everything is everywhere available.

pippin
2011-11-30, 03:11
Doesn't really matter over here since - due to Gema - more or less none are available in Germany. OK, there's simfy living off heavy subsidies from German Telekom, let's see for how long...

But if the current trend continues (as seen with Google Music, iTunes Match,...) we will probably see more and more stuff being only available in the US and Europe only showing up much later and even then only on a country-by-country basis starting in the "easy" regions like UK or Scandinavia where there is less political influence on music business.

jo-wie
2011-11-30, 03:24
My words are affected by the words of a Logitech CEO and another discussion about the future of the Squeezeboxes.

toby10
2011-11-30, 03:35
And it shows again how cloud based music services can be a problem in different countries. Support as many as possible is good, but you can only trust your own library.

I hope some decision makers are aware of that not everything is everywhere available.

Very true and definitely a consideration.
Though, on the other hand, at $5 to $10 a month giving me access to millions of songs is very reasonable to me. They stop the service I stop paying.
Or, I choose a different service from time to time for variety and a change.

I understand having options of different services or even any services at all is an issue in certain countries, and that is sad. :(

pippin
2011-11-30, 03:43
The good thing about all these services is that at the rate they are making losses you - as a customer - are heavily subsidized in your music consumption by VCs sinking money into this business.

But it's just another reason why jo-wie is right: you need to support them all...

Goodsounds
2011-11-30, 14:49
Doesn't really matter over here since - due to Gema - more or less none are available in Germany. OK, there's simfy living off heavy subsidies from German Telekom, let's see for how long...

But if the current trend continues (as seen with Google Music, iTunes Match,...) we will probably see more and more stuff being only available in the US and Europe only showing up much later and even then only on a country-by-country basis starting in the "easy" regions like UK or Scandinavia where there is less political influence on music business.
As I understand it, one of the obstacles is the fragmentation of rights administration, it's country by country. No centralized way to "get European rights", so the effort is directed to where the most ears are available for the least effort and cost.

Goodsounds
2011-11-30, 14:54
The good thing about all these services is that at the rate they are making losses you - as a customer - are heavily subsidized in your music consumption by VCs sinking money into this business.

But it's just another reason why jo-wie is right: you need to support them all...
If you take the example of Pandora, its subscription revenue is peanuts. Most of what it gets is from advertising. But I guess Google demonstrates there's nothing wrong with that, so long as what Pandora gets continues to grow.

Personally, I think, the subscription model is DOA. Many people suffer from monthly subscription fatigue, and it's a tough sell to get people to pay for something when there exist similar and free alternatives.

pippin
2011-11-30, 20:48
As I understand it, one of the obstacles is the fragmentation of rights administration, it's country by country. No centralized way to "get European rights", so the effort is directed to where the most ears are available for the least effort and cost.

It's not just the fragmentation of administration but more importantly also of legislation.
In Germany, for example, you have Gema as a centralized institution to manage author's claims and which claims prices that are around 5 times what services like Spotify pay to artists - and that's on top of what artists get.
Then in Germany, especially France but probably some other countries, too, you have "local content" rules that demand that a certain percentage of your catalog or of what you are actually streaming is from rights holders out of these countries which are ridiculously high, and so on....

jo-wie
2011-12-01, 01:14
If you take the example of Pandora, its subscription revenue is peanuts. Most of what it gets is from advertising. But I guess Google demonstrates there's nothing wrong with that, so long as what Pandora gets continues to grow.

Personally, I think, the subscription model is DOA. Many people suffer from monthly subscription fatigue, and it's a tough sell to get people to pay for something when there exist similar and free alternatives.

And again a point of position, Pandora do only work in the USA. So for you it's a good example of service but from my side of view I cannot commit your statement.

I'm happy that I do have a subscription model available from Napster. I guess my and my family daily listening is different to yours.

pippin
2011-12-01, 01:20
Pandora is an ESPECIALLY bad example because I believe Pandora's ad revenues mainly come from online ads (at least they don't seem to have changed substantially since they added commercials to their programming) so I doubt they will be able to support platforms depriving them of that revenue (such as the Squeezebox) for ever. They are pretty much the only ones left who still try to do that, btw.

Goodsounds
2011-12-01, 13:23
By one measure (going public) Pandora has been the most successful of the bunch. But after something like 10 years, it still hasn't made a cent (or a penny, pfennig or sou).

Outward signs are that privately owned Rhapsody has done no better, since Real spun it off and reduced its ownership.

Maybe this space is just another of the many internet business ideas that in concept seemed to be an opportunity to make money, but turned out to be a otherwise.

pippin
2011-12-01, 13:51
The problem is that investors are so crazy about it that they keep investing in a lot of very similar services which all produce a deficit and the record companies use that as a way to draw money from them.
I believe if the whole segment was in danger of drying out the record companies would have to give better terms and the whole thing could well be profitable, yet as it stands they would be crazy to do so.

The risk for the record companies of course is that in the current environment platforms like Bandcamp and SoundCloud circumvent the record company altogether with their business model which, in the long run, could make things profitable for that platform providers and the artists at the cost of the record companies... a scenario probably only a few people would feel bad about.