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View Full Version : My Napster 2.0 Review


andrewh
Oct 29, 2003, 07:55 PM
Out of curiosity I dowloaded and checked out the new napster last night using Virtual PC on my dual 1.25 g4.

As much as I wanted to hate it, being the huge Mac fan that I am, there are some good things about it.

Here's what I liked/is possibly better than iTunes:
- Can browse things like charts for a specific year. I thought it was interesting to see (for example) Hip Hop/R&B for summer 1987 all listed in only a few seconds.

- History -- can see a list of songs that you previewed previously and easily get back to them.

- Magazine -- some nice use of Flash (but I'm biased being a Flash Designer/Developer). Flash haters will hate it. I like the fact that they're taking the risk to use the technology. They're designing for a younger audience but it's generally pretty good. Not all of it though.

- Videos -- easily got to a bunch of videos. the iTunes store has some for featured artists but is limited.

- They ripped off the whole browse library by Artist, Album, Playlist, MP3 Player in the left column ala iTunes. Easy to use though.

- UI is generally not bad. It is much better than I thought it was going to be. For a windows app, it's pretty good. Of course, fonts and that always look inferior to Macs and the search results coming in looks clunky. Not nearly as elegant as iTunes.

Here is what I DIDN't like:

- a lot of album covers were missing.
- a bunch of songs were unavailable. I think it is because the previews aren't really there and don't believe the error message about congestion.

- I found it hard to just browse albums within a genre the way iTunes does it. It's a little confusing and frustrating to navigate around the different genres compared to iTunes.

- It really feels like a "PC" application. Clunky and awkward. PC users are going to love it. Harder for mac users to like it.

- there's more ... enough for now.

Like I said, I wanted to hate it, but it's not bad. I really thought Napster would crash and burn like buymusic.com but I'm not so sure now. What it wil come down to is the whole WMA versus AAC issue for Windows users and whether someone is going with the iPod or not. People not feeling comfortable with investing their music collection money into AAC's will go with Napster.

I predict the iTunes music store for Windows will have moderate success, but they will not dominate the platform. Which isn't such a bad thing. Hey, it's nice to have the choice of the best, and all the rest.