After years of avoiding downloading, I’ve finally joined up with Napster. I signed up for a free trial, decided I liked what I saw (and heard , so decided to jump in with both feet. I’ve ordered a new MP3 player that will work with the Napster to Go service, and I’ve already downloaded some albums.
The Napster deal is an interesting one for someone like me who likes to listen to a lot of new music. For a monthly fee, I can download and listen to as much music as I like. I can play that on up to three PCs, and as I’ve gone for the “to go” option, on the new MP3 player when it arrives. I can only continue to play the tracks while I maintain my subscription, and I can’t share them or burn them to CD. If I do want to keep tracks, I can buy them at usual download rates. In practice, I’d be more likely to buy the CDs from play.com or another such supplier, as the difference in price between a download album and an actual CD is minimal.
But what this means is that I can now listen to whole albums without actually buying them. This is really nice – I can read a review in the NME or Q, then give the music a listen, before spending money on a CD that I might only listen to a couple of times. Woo and indeed hoo. The other side of that is that if I sample more music, I’ll probably end up buying more of it!
And another Good Thing is that some tracks are available weeks before the CD singles are in the shops. I’ve got the new Franz Ferdinand single on my PC, which is great.
 Review to follow when I get it
 Did I mention I’m going to see them in November?