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Author Topic: Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?  (Read 5340 times)

Curtis

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Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?
« on: November 12, 2003, 11:53:40 pm »

 8) I'm subscribing to the new Napster 2.0 Premium service, which lets me download all their *downloadable* 128K wma files and play them back on up to 3 computers for $10.00 per month (if the subscription is cancelled, the songs are no longer playable). The selection is decent, but the record companies are still choking off a lot of the good stuff. I'm hoping they'll see the light and make more of my favorite groups available.
     Anyway, I'm trying to work up some strategies for integrating the Napster downloads with my ripped library and would like others' ideas. Napster requires the downloads to stay in one place and it throws all the songs into one folder. I've set it up as a separate folder from my ripped CD folders. The Napster data appears to import artist (song artist I think), album, and title. I think the first limitation is that this info can't be changed at the file level. So I've got Media Center oriented around using Artist (not Album Artist or Artist (auto)) and Album as my main sorts. Then I import the Napster folder into my library.
     I have to import the whole folder everytime I download new tunes, which is taking more and more time as I download more songs. MC does a good job of only importing the songs once (I'm not trying to rewrite any of my library properties back to that directory), but it **would be nice if MC could add an advanced import feature to only import files in the selected folder within a specified date range (like "import last 10 days of files"). MC won't re-import the previously imported ones and I'm guessing(?) it would be able to move through the Napster folder faster than importing the whole folder and checking each song against the library.
    WMP has a plug-in for Napster as a Premium Service. The advantage is one can listen live to Napster (live streaming is only 96K though while downloads are 128K) AND USE any equalizer plug-ins installed in WMP. Napster has no equalizer now and the quality sucks compared to WMP and MC. I'm not sure I even want to see MC add a plug-in though. I find my cpu usage is pinning near 100% when I'm running Napster inside WMP vs only 10-15% when running Napster directly.
    So my strategy is to NOT listen to the non-equalized 96K Napster stream, but rather to download Napster tunes, import them into my MC library, and play everything back in MC with my DFX equalizer.
    Anyone have other ideas or experiences with Napster?
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NoCodeUK

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Re:Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2003, 04:38:48 pm »

Out of interest can you convert the wma to ape in MC and then convert them to another format?

Adam
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Curtis

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Re:Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2003, 12:48:02 am »

Nope. The DRM stops it. (I'm talking about downloaded cuts at the $10 /month all-you-can-eat price; don't know what you can do with purchased tracks (other than burn them a la MusicMatch and ITunes).
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ThatAdamGuy

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Re:Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2003, 02:08:30 am »

Well, I think it's reasonable for MC9 to respect the DRM and not permit the burning or manipulating of unlimited-download Napster files.

HOWEVER, one thing I'm majorly bummed about is that these files seem unable to be analyzed (MC9 always gives me that "Napster" screen), which means I can't enjoy volume leveling with playlists that include Napster tracks.

MC folks, could you kindly explore a way to permit the analyzing of Napster files while still respecting the Napster DRM implementation?  Thanks! :)
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Curtis

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Re:Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2003, 02:30:49 am »

 :(  Yeah, I'm unhappy about the inability to analyze the tracks too. Anything that tries to write to the tracks is going to be stymied, I guess. It seems the analysis info would have to be placed in a separate file and merged in when it's played back. Who knows what that would do to playback overhead too.
    Another disappointment is the inability to set a date range in MC to only import files dated after a supplied date, so the entire Napster downloaded library has to be scanned each time I have a few tracks to add.
    My third Napster disappointment is in the other thread I posted here about how the DRM checking causes a slowdown of 2-3 seconds on my system before each song plays back, especially noticeable if I'm trying to mouse around when it hits.
   
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ThatAdamGuy

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Re:Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2003, 05:57:30 pm »

Well, as I just noted in another thread, the situation has gotten worse, not better.  Maybe I should never have spoken up at all! :-(

Previously, we could at least analyze / convert PAID Napster tunes.  Now even those are fully locked!

This is a step backwards for MC, Napster, and consumers.  And ultimately, for the artists and labels, who will be suffering from increasing consumer frustration and temptation once again towards the illegal services.

It's becoming quite frustrating to always be treated like a thief when all we honest music-lovers want to do is just use the music WE PAID FOR in the ways we want. :(
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Curtis

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Re:Anybody Using Napster Premium? Strategies?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2003, 09:26:58 pm »

Well, that is bad news. My desire is to use Napster *instead* of continuing to build my CD or now my ripped-CD collection. I have enough music to take along when I travel, but I want Napster for sampling music I would probably never buy (but if I discover something great than I will, generating more sales) and for listening at home to music I would buy but that is a real bargain at $10 a month.
   Having said that, I would NOT use Napster to buy music that has all these strings attached. It's so easy to find any CD on Half.com usually at the same $9.99 or cheaper price as Napster, and rip it with unfettered rights, and even resell it for slightly less for an overall outlay of maybe $5 per CD? So the Napster model still doesn't work for buying music. Not only that, but the poor artist gets nothing when a CD is bought and sold through several hands, leaving ripped copies behind. To me, this is what goes on in the real world. So, Napster (really, the industry) needs to be more, not less, DRM-friendly to the consumer so that's it's "cheaper" to buy a *usable/friendly* song on Napster than it is to buy a used CD with no restrictions on ripping. That has to mean cheaper costs, but even more than that greater digital rights to the purchased music, like being able to change the location of the track, the file tag information, convert the format, and analyze the audio, all the things I can do with the $5 used CD.
    Of course the big tradeoff that's a given with Napster is that I'm stuck with only 128k quality. My own collection is at least 160K wma
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