Napster launches iTunes-rivalling MP3 store

The original pirate music portal goes legal and relaunches with Apple?s throne in its sites
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The once illegal but now thoroughly corporate Napster has launched what is being called the internet’s largest MP3 music store – the entirety of which will be DRM free.

More than six million tracks are available on the site, none of which are burdened with DRM (digital rights management), meaning that once tracks are purchased (for 79p each) users are free to use them on any device or PC.

Napster has distanced itself from its previous monthly subscription model that allowed users unlimited access to its library – and whilst these services will remain in operation, the focus will now very much be on the paid for DRM-free downloads.

And tracks purchased on Napster will now also be compatible with iPod for the first time. And with the backing of more or less every major record label, boss Craig Gorog firmly believes that his service can rival the current sector boss iTunes, telling the BBC that it moves online music "from under the DRM cloud".

Coming on the same day that bittorrent site The Pirate Bay reached an all-time high level of popularity, the move to DRM free models of content distribution will be seen by many as a positive move to counter the work of online pirates.

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