Over the years, Napster has pupated from an illegal peer-to-peer music sharing network to a streaming audio subscription service, and today marks another surprising evolution in a brand that has, over the past decade, meant all things to all men: it’s now an iPhone app.
10-4, you heard that correctly: Apple has finally approved Napster on iTunes as a free application. Weighing in at just 1.8MB, Napster will stream over 10 million songs to you on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, provided you’re willing to give a Hamilton a month to Napster LLC (which the App Store listing proudly reminds us is “a Best Buy company”) for their Napster plus Mobile Access subscription.
Okay, it’s not the long delayed U.S. launch of our favorite streaming music service, Spotify. None the less, it’s great to see so many options for streaming your music start hitting the App Store, and I think it heralds great things for Apple’s own entry into the Cloud: clearly, whatever Apple’s got planned, they don’t think existing services like Napster or Spotify are a threat. iTunes Live, when it comes, is going to do things we didn’t even know we wanted.