Napster $5 Streaming Access is Dead

As a long-time Napster member and fan of the music subscription model I was disappointed to hear that Napster had sold out to Rhapsody.  After Best Buy took ownership I thought Napster might be alright.  Yet I remained hopeful as the Rhapsody service is also quite good.  At first it seemed all was well.  Napster would transfer accounts over to Rhapsody but then I realized they don’t offer $5 streaming access.  Nor does Rhapsody include credits good for DRM-free song downloads.  Rhapsody will cost at least $9.99 a month.

So I’m left with a few options.  The first of which is switching over to Rhapsody.  For $9.99 a month Rhapsody offers the same streaming access I had with Napster plus access from one mobile device.  A nice addition but I’d rather pay $5 a month without the mobile access.  So for now I’ll be foregoing Rhapsody.

I’ve decided to test three music services – Spotify, MOG and eMusic.  Spotify and MOG both offer unlimited streaming access (without mobile) for $5 a month.  While eMusic charges $0.49 for DRM-free music downloads.  None of these options stack up to my previous Napster account.  I’m use to paying $60 a year for unlimited streaming access plus $60 worth of credits for DRM-free music downloads.

It seems to me that a lot of Napster members are in the same boat.  With Rhapsody picking up our accounts without an equivalent offering.  Perhaps they figure $5 Napster members will become $10 Rhapsody customers.  Maybe that will work out for them or maybe it won’t.  I can only express my own disappointment with their decision to purchase Napster and not offer equal service for the price.

Am I the only one who thinks Rhapsody would benefit from a $5 streaming account?  Since Spotify is now in the US and MOG also offers a $5 a plan I’m surprised Rhapsody doesn’t also have a $5 account.  Oh well, at least Spotify and MOG still have $5 offerings.  Now back to reviewing VPN services.

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