I have a terrible confession to make. I never used Napster back when it was, well, Napster. By the time I got around to using work’s bandwidth for file sharing, the original was mired in lawsuits and I opted for ‘new Napster’ Scour.
So, corporate Napster launched yesterday. I won’t be using it. Or iTunes for that matter.
If I want music from one of the ‘big five’ I’ll seek out second hand cds or bargain basement prices in the HMV/ Virgin sales. Indie cds can be bought on my rare trips into Piccadilly Records. Online there are far better places to get music, which won’t be tied to the downloading PC- Spinach Records, run by Fruitbat of Carter USM, financed their early releases on a ‘shareware’ scheme- download a few tracks from the album then pay half the price of the final cd, with the first hundred or so people to lay down money getting special bonuses; betterpropaganda offers free sample songs; MPeria utilises BitPass for ultra cheap songs (particularly whilst the dollar is so low); I haven’t used Download.com much, but it offers free downloads as well; Hippocamp (who have just gone over to ogg files) is just down the road from me, as are Ishta (Hippocamp is absolutely free. If I could, I’d PayPal them a few quid.) And there’s a bundle of bands out there giving away tracks to get people hooked. Give them a try.
(Edit: I won’t use iTunes the store, but I will sing the praise of iTunes the music player. I’m currently working my way through a smart playlist of all the songs with a 0 play count, so I can get to listen to everything. Only 7 days of music to go!)