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Napster Launches Free, Web-Based Service
Monday, May 1st, 2006 at 11:00 AM - by
Napster on Monday introduced a free, Web browser-based addition to its services, enabling anyone to listen to its more than two million songs up to five times each. The service works through any browser on Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows and requires nothing more than a membership sign-up.
The music streams in .swf Flash format at 32kbps. Once a user has listened to a song five times, they're limited to a 30-second clip, along with a reminder that they can become a Napster subscriber to continue hearing it.
The new free service is currently available only in the United States. Napster said it will expand it to other countries over time.
The company on Monday also debuted NapsterLinks, which enable anyone to place links to free music in e-mails, instant messages, blogs and Web sites. Clicking the link opens Napster's Web-based music player, which starts streaming the audio.
Finally, Napster announced Narchive, which will be available soon as a Beta release. It enables all Napster.com members to create personal stories for a "People's History of Music." Users can place photos and NapsterLinks in their entries, while anyone will be able to read articles by prominent music writers.
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