The name alone will always have a soft spot with techies of a certain age, but Napster is looking to move with the times as it revamps its service for a serious assault on the iTunes/Spotify fanbases...
The big news is a drastic cut in pricing with users now able to stream unlimited music from its desktop application for just £5 per month. On top of this users will also be allowed to download five DRM-free MP3s of their choice per month.
By comparison, Napster pricing prior to this was significantly more at £10 per month for unlimited streaming and £15pm to throw in DRM loaded tracks that were incompatible with a number of music players including - ouch - iPods. Interestingly, the new plan also means Napster significantly undercuts current industry darling Spotify which charges £10pm for unlimited streaming with no downloads (though it has recently added an offline desktop mode - like Napster - and the dedicated http://www.trustedreviews.com/mobile-phones/review/2009/09/15/Spotify-for-iPhone/p1iPhone and Android apps).
In related news Napster is also making progress with manufacturers having landed a surprising - but very cool - global deal with Dell to bundle 12 months of unlimited music streaming with the company's new PCs and laptops. Napster will also throw in 60 MP3s of the consumer's choice in a deal which is worth approximately £60. Smart move team.