I see that Napster is now selling a catalog of 6,000,000 MP3 tracks. To see what it was like, I decided to purchase something possibly obscure -- Charles Wuorinen music I don't already own. I ended up with Lepton on the Tzadik label. The results:
- An album has to be downloaded one track at a time.
- The music is encoded at 256 kbps so the downloads are noticiably slower than emusic or itunes. Amazon uses 320 kbps.
- Unlike iTunes, but like Amazon and emusic, these are DRM-free.
- One of the downloads failed with an error message in the browser but I could re-start it. Dunno if I can re-download the music later after I log out of my napster account.
- The composer tag is empty.
- The album was $9.95 for 7 tracks. It wasn't on emusic although it is on Amazon at $9.95 as well.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend Napster for novices. Nor for that matter would I recommend Wuorinen for novices although Time's Encomium did win the Pulitzer (free Art of the States stream here).