So I'm at work, and I've been listening to iTunes for Windows for the past several weeks and I've bought three albums in that time ($30), but even then with the CDs I've ripped and the new albums, my music collection has gotten a bit stale.
So today I noticed in an article about how there have been 25 million iTunes downloads which is kicking everyone elses ass, that Napster has been launched so I decided to download it and try it out. Very, very cool. It worked right out of the box, the set up and sign-in was flawless and the sound is good.
I've never tried any other music service besides iTunes before, so that's what I was comparing it to and I'd have to say thumbs up on the new Napster. It looks and works pretty much just like iTunes, except that if you have a subscription to the Premium service, you can stream and listen to just about any song in the library. This is *awesome*. I'm trying it now without so much as having to reach for my credit card as Napster comes with a free 3 day trial of the Premium service, and I think I'm sold. I've been browsing different albums all day, clicking play and if the button next to the song doesn't say "buy only" it just plays. That's great! For the price of my 3 albums on iTunes, I could have had 3 months of new music! That works for me.
There's a ton of other features as well, such as streaming radio, sharing your album picks, downloading music in WMA format (ugh), burning CDs (good), etc. But I just think the premium service is the best for me at work, when I want to zone out and listen to good varied music. I also think the "standard" tree control is much nicer to browse albums than Apple's two/three pane control, but that may be just because I'm more used to the Windows UI widgets. Regardless, Napster seems to have a varied amount of music and good features.
I'm going to try it for a couple more days to see how I like it and to see if it continues to be as good as it seems now, but after one day, I'm pretty sure I'll be signing up.