Napster is now offering its entire downloadable catalog as MP3s, a development that follows protracted licensing negotiations.
According to information shared early this morning, a catalog of roughly six million tracks has been transcoded into the unprotected format. That means compatibility with the all-important iPod, previously a major obstacle for the company.
The DRM-free shift is an important one for Napster, a company that has struggled against compatibility problems since its relaunch in 2003. But the bread-and-butter subscription service will remain protected, a critical component of the on-demand system. That puts the shift into perspective, though the move away from DRM-protected downloads lifts a major negative associated with the Napster model.
Download pricing will remain at 99-cents per track, and $9.95 for most albums.