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March 07, 2005

iTunes vs. Napster

I was frustrated by the inconsistency of the Napster experience. There often seemed to be no rhyme or reason about which songs were included for the $9.95 monthly fee. On a ten-song album, nine would be rentable, and one required an extra purchase. Or for a given artist, three albums would be buy-only, but a fourth could be rented. I realize that this isn't Napster's fault, but is the choice of the labels and artists, but it still drove me batty. I believe that there is value in consistency, and while Napster takes a step closer to the iTunes ideal, in that all songs can be downloaded for burning for 99 cents (unlike earlier rental models which placed restrictions even on that), it still seems uneven by comparison. Technically, there are "Album Only" tracks in the iTMS, but they all seem to be over seven minutes long, and are hard to find outside of classical choices.
 この部分が気になった理由は、以前「Napster To GoはiTunesのライバルになるか?」という雑文を書いたのだけど、そこで「問題があるとすれば、Napsterは全世界の音楽カタログを網羅していないという事実。また、仮に網羅されてしまえば、現在のレコード会社的なシステムは完全に不要になるので、そういう事態が起きる前にレコード会社はなんらかの策を講じるはず、つまりNapster To Goへの音源提供は制限付きになるだろう。(具体的には、カタログ内容が常時変動していて聴ける楽曲が限定されるとか…)」と書いた通りの施策を、Napsterに音源提供しているレコード会社がやっていたということ。なんだかあまりに予想通りで、トホホといった感じ(笑)。


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