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It's alive! Napster to relaunch by Christmas

And this time it's got the record labels onside...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

And this time it's got the record labels onside...

Napster appears set for return before the end of this year - a feat many doubted would be possible after its much-publicised closure in 2001. Napster's new owners, digital media software company Roxio, confirmed they expect to see the service up and running before the end of the year. Napster 2.0, as the new, legal service will be known, will offer a combination of subscription and pay-per-download services, giving users access to more than half a million songs - the largest legal music catalogue worldwide. As well as straightforward downloads, the relaunched service will give users customised internet radio stations and the opportunity to burn their chosen tracks to CDs or other media. Napster new incarnation will put its outlaw days well and truly behind it. While a few artists have refused to let the reborn service feature their tunes, Napster 2.0 has signed deals with the five major record labels and a selection of key independent labels. How Napster's previous users will take to the new site remains to be seen – it is unlikely that all will be happy to think of the once-free Napster service as something they must now pay for. However, good news for Apple's iTunes service, if not its legion of Mac users - Napster 2.0 will only initially be available to PC users.
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