Napster

Napster

It's easy to forget how many of the features we're praising new comers for adding Napster has had for ages. Prime examples include offline listening and the option to purchase any tracks you particularly like to keep. And what about playlist sharing? Napster may not let you do so via Twitter or Facebook, but the option's been there for years.

The track selection is comprehensive at a claimed 10 million songs. No doubt partly by dint of how long it's been around, Napster has managed to tie up deals with a massive number of music rights holders, and as such you'll generally find that if a track isn't available on Napster, it’s not available to stream at all.

Pricing is unsurprising, and falls in line with the current norm, but the subscription comes with a nice twist. £5 a month gets you unlimited access to Napster's library plus five MP3 downloads a month to keep, and there's a £10 a month option which nets 12 downloads. If you do cancel your subscription you'll at least have something to show for your months of payment, though curiously one must call Napster to cancel a subscription - an antiquated method in these times!

Napster falls down in comparison to its fresher-faced rivals with its desktop program which looks, to put in nicely, a little long in the tooth. It's not the easiest thing in the world to navigate around and is quite sluggish at times. There's no mobile application either, which may not bother you but when the competition offer music streaming to your phone, it's annoying that Napster doesn't.

Compensating for that, however, is Napster's web player. Unlike those of a number of its opponents, Napster's library can be accessed anywhere you can find an Internet connection and a browser. If that's not enough, there's also integration with Sonos and Logitech Squeezebox media streaming devices to tempt you to Napster.

Verdict

While there's no doubt it has got a tough battle ahead of it, with ever increasing competition, Napster's far from dead yet. Its music library can't be matched at present and it has excellent integration with third party streaming devices.

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