Get the Most out of Napster

January 03, 2011

Playlist Tip #3: Placement is Key

Playlist Tip #3 It may seem obvious, but it really is true: The first track of a playlist is key. It not only sets the initial tone for the set but starts the flow of music through to the last track, or "closer," which is also very important. A solid start and finish are what take a mix to the next level. For the middle, something to consider is the placement of upbeat vs. downtempo tracks. It always makes for a nice listening experience when there's a little back and forth—if the playlist begins with all headbangers and then lulls into a ballad-happy sadfest, it may be lights out for the listener. And if you've got a 20-minute magnum opus that needs to be included, it usually works best as the closer. It can make for an epic statement, something good to leave the listener with. Just some more food for thought to consider as you make your own playlists. For more quick tips, check out #2 (Quantity vs. Quality) and #1 (Making a Playlist).

Bookmark and Share

December 09, 2010

Napster App for iOS Updated; Sound Quality Dramatically Improved

Napster for iOS Our recently launched app for iPhone and other iOS devices has been getting some great reviews, and iLounge even named it one of their 100 essential apps of the year. However, there was one sticking point with the 1.0 release of Napster for iOS devices: the sound quality needed improvement. Apparently the higher frequencies were dropping, causing a sound similar to a too-high bass setting.

After careful evaluation and audio analysis, we dramatically improved the audio quality, ensuring those higher frequencies are broadcasting as they should.

Even better news is that we were able to do this without sacrificing bandwidth, battery life, or even storage space. This is especially important with the release of iOS 4.2 and the AirPlay feature, since you can now use the Napster app to wirelessly pump great sounding music to your home theater system. 'Tis the season to check out all the great accessories you can buy at your local Best Buy store and fill your home with some with of our expertly programmed holiday music.

Napster for iOS now sounds as good as it looks! Now that we're past this hurdle, we look forward to bringing more exciting innovations to help you enjoy your choice of over 11 million songs wherever you happen to spend your holidays.

If you don't yet have the Napster app, get it here.

—Michael Robinette

Bookmark and Share

November 03, 2010

Playlist Tip #2: Quantity vs. Quality

 Putting together a great set of tracks for a playlist can be a concept-driven, in-depth project (take a look at Napster's "Rock Hearts Rap" playlist for an example) or just a casual, off-the-cuff immediate listening experience. Either way, the real question becomes quantity versus quality. If you're making a playlist for yourself, then who cares, right? But if you're making a mix for someone else or for a dancefloor, we recommend quality. Gobs of songs, although sometimes tempting, can lead to the listener losing interest. On the other hand, a medium-sized, 15-20 track mix usually hits about the 80-minute mark, giving it an album-type feel. In our opinion, this packs the bigger punch, leaving listeners satisfied and maybe even looking forward to a Volume 2. For step-by-step instructions on making playlists with Napster, see Playlist Tip #1.

Bookmark and Share

October 27, 2010

Napster for Android: Now with Offline Playback

 A few weeks ago, we released a streaming-only version of our app for AndroidTM devices, because being able to play any of over 11 million songs wherever you go was too good an experience to keep to ourselves. But we knew that wasn't enough: There are still a few places the mobile networks don't reach (which I recently found out in Pescadero, California), and there's that one spot on the drive home from work where the connection always drops.

So today we're releasing an update to our Android app that lets you save your favorite playlists and albums to your phone so you can play them even while offline. Now you really can have your music everywhere (except for takeoff and landing, when the flight attendants make us turn off our devices completely). The app now also downloads the next few songs in your Now Playing queue ahead of time so that your music won't be interrupted if you happen to hit one of those dead zones during your commute.

 With this release, Napster plus Mobile Access is fully available on Android devices as well as iPhone® and other iOS® devices. That's over 11 million songs available everywhere you go for less than I used to spend on CDs every month. For less than I spend on sugar water every week.

Android is a great platform that has spawned a wide variety of incredible devices, and we've done a lot of work to make sure Napster works on any device powered by it. New phones and new updates to Android are released often, and we are committed to making Napster available on all of them.

We will continue to update our mobile apps as we hear your feedback. Version 1.0 is already a really great way to listen to music on the go, but we never stop. We have some exciting features planned for the future, so stay tuned.

—Michael Robinette
 

 To get the free Napster app for Android, just capture the QR code at left with your device's camera.

To get the app for iPhone (and other iOS devices), follow this link to the app in iTunes®, or simply search for Napster in the App Store on your device.

Bookmark and Share

October 25, 2010

Playlist Tip #1: Making a Playlist

Blogkitty_1 Let's build a playlist using Napster. (We'll start with a brief tutorial for the Napster web-based service. For a client-based tutorial, see below.)

Web-based:
1. First, sign in to your Napster account. (If you don't have one, signing up is easy.)
2. Next, search for tracks you'd like to add to your playlist.
3. Click on the "Save" button next to your desired track and name your new playlist.
4. Repeat step 3 to add additional tracks—each time select the name of your new playlist from the drop down to add the track.
5. Once you've added all tracks, your playlist is now saved under "My Collection" in "My Playlists" for you to enjoy any time on the web or iPhone and Android devices!

Client-based:
1. First, sign in to your Napster account.
2. Next, search for tracks you'd like to add to your playlist.
3. Click on the "plus" sign next to your desired track and name your playlist.
4. Repeat step 3 to add additional tracks—each time select the name of your new playlist from the drop down to add the track.
5. Once you've added all tracks, your playlist is now saved under "My Playlists" in the top left-hand nav under "My Library."

Bookmark and Share

October 04, 2010

Coming Soon: Napster on Google TV

Google TV

Today, over at the official Google Blog, Google shared details on some of the enhanced experiences that will be featured on Google TV – including an application from Napster. For those of you who haven’t heard: Google TV seamlessly combines all of your favorite entertainment across your TV and the web under one search box so you can easily find what you want to watch.

Napster’s preinstalled application on Google TV will make it even easier to sit back and enjoy the world of music from your living room. You can quickly and easily find and play the music you love for as long as you want, with almost no effort. Just sit back and enjoy the way music enriches your life.

  • Just as you can when listing today, Napster on Google TV lets you:
  • Play songs, albums, and playlists as often as you like, in the order you like 
  • Kick back with playlists, recommendations, and Billboard® charts dating back to 1955 
  • Create your own playlists for a customized listening experience
  • Automix your favorite song to create an instant playlist blending similar artists
  • Check out new releases every Tuesday
  • See and select most recently played songs and albums
  • Save and play favorite artists

Current subscribers will only need to log in to Napster on their new Google TV device, and voila! For those new to Napster, a free trial will be available straight from the Google TV device.

Google TV devices will ship this month, so look out for more details! 


Bookmark and Share

September 24, 2010

Napster with Mobile Access Now Available for $10/month

Android iPad iPhone It’s official: The universe of music is now yours, wherever you go. The free Napster app for iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad®, and AndroidTM devices was  made available recently, and now existing and new U.S. subscribers can sign up for our new Napster plus mobile access service from the Napster site.

Offering unlimited on-demand streaming of over 11 million full-length songs for $10 per month, music lovers can sign up for Napster with mobile access and listen instantly to any and all of them as often as they like, in the order they want, from wherever they are.

Katy perryThe Napster app is available for iPhone (and other iOS® devices) and Android now, with a version for Blackberry coming soon. We're also working with our content partners to bring all three versions to subscribers outside the U.S. as soon as possible.

With Napster plus mobile access, members can save songs, playlists, and albums to their mobile devices and enjoy their favorite music even when not connected (coming soon for the Android version). TheNapster app also automatically saves the last 100 songs played for quick and easy access, online or off.


To get the free Napster app for iPhone (and other iOS devices), follow this link to the app in iTunes®, or simply search for Napster in the App Store on your device.

Android QR Code To get the app for Android, just capture the QR code at left with your device's camera.




To recap, here are some key Napster plus mobile access features:

Save songs, albums, and playlists to enjoy even when listening offline 
Kick back with playlists, recommendations, and Billboard® charts
Create playlists for a customized listening experience 
Save last 100 songs played to easily replay favorites 
Automix favorite songs to create an instant playlist blending similar artists
 
Napster is available on any connected computer, compatible TV, Blu-rayTM player or other compatible home audio product – and now, on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android devices – all available at Best Buy and other retailers.
 
With the ability to access Napster via iPhone and soon other smartphones, the new Napster service no longer includes MP3 credits. Over the past year and a half, we’ve determined that long-term customers are streaming more, redeeming fewer MP3 credits, and requesting access to any track from any device rather than attempting to manage MP3s over multiple devices. The demand for mobile streaming is our most requested feature, and we feel this is the best experience – and the best value – for the majority of music fans. 

Existing Napster subscribers will continue for now in their current subscription plan unless they contact customer support to sign up for the new plan with mobile access. 

Bookmark and Share

May 06, 2010

New on Napster: Facebook “Like” Buttons on Artist, Album, and Playlist Pages

We are proud to announce that we added two new features to Napster today.

First, it’s time to get “socially” responsible. Yep, Napster just got more social. You can now “Like” artists, albums and Napster playlists, sharing your music tastes and finds with friends via your Facebook profile. For example, if you click "Like" on the new Usher album, Raymond v. Raymond, your friends will see this activity on your Facebook profile. If one of your friends clicks the link on Facebook, they will be taken to the album page on Napster, where they can play up to five songs (in their entirety!) from the album. It's a great way to introduce your friends to hot new music, or even your favorite oldies.

If you're logged into Facebook already, "Liking" your favorites is one click away. If you're not logged in, Napster will ask you to log in to enable sharing.

As you browse through the Napster site, you can also see your Facebook friends who have clicked "Like" on any album, artist, or playlist. We see this as a great way to bring two key parts of life—friends and music—together in a fun way. Bringing Facebook into Napster was an easy choice, as we know that the majority of Napster members are also active Facebook users.


The second new feature we've added is a handy persistent display of your current Napster song credit balance in the main site header. Whenever you're signed in, your song credit balance appears in the upper-left corner of the Napster window, next to your member name, so you'll always be able to see at a glance how many credits you have available. The balance is updated when you use your credits and refreshed according to your Napster membership plan (monthly and/or upon renewal).

 

That's it for now. Happy listening!

Bill Coats

Sr. Product Manager

P.S.—Listen to the track, "It's Working" by MGMT - click    on the album or artist to try the new feature out!

Bookmark and Share

May 05, 2010

Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong: Napster's "Swingin' Singers" Radio

If you ever needed proof that the truly great singers are never forgotten, just look at Frank Sinatra night on last night's American Idol. Here was a bunch of kids generations removed from the Chairman of the Board's time, yet because his style and his songbook are true classics, they enthusiastically took on the challenge.

If you haven't gotten in touch with your inner Rat Pack persona lately, then Napster new "Swingin' Singers" radio station is exactly what you need. It features tracks from all the great vocalists of the swing and traditional pop years—songs that people of all ages seem to know. There are selections from Ol' Blue Eyes, as well as fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., while the great ladies of song are also represented with tracks from Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Doris Day, and Sarah Vaughan to name just a few. Still unconvinced? How about favorites by Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole, Lena Horne and Tony Bennett? Looking at a list like this, it's hard not to realize that these are the original "American Idols." Find "Swingin' Singers" and other great Napster radio stations in Napster's Radio Guide.

Bookmark and Share

April 30, 2010

Artists on Napster Are Now Even More Picture Perfect

For many of you, Napster's artist pages are the starting point for finding the music you love, viewing their new releases, or browsing through popular songs. In fact, artist pages are the most visited on the new Napster site. We’re excited to share details on some recent artist-page enhancements.

We've heard from many of you that music videos are one of your favorite ways to experience your favorite artists, so we’ve integrated videos from YouTube into Napster's artist pages. Each page now includes high-quality videos you can play within Napster, many of which match artists' most popular songs. And better yet, any song you’re listening to with your Napster player will automatically pause while you watch a video and resume when you're done.

As an example, click here to watch videos by Nickelback.


But it's not all about just moving images. We’ve got some great static ones now, too. Artist pages now pull photos from Flickr as well. Right next to the videos tab you'll see a "Photos" button. Click it to view a variety of pictures: candid live shots, studio shots, red carpet appearances, and more. To see how it works, check out the photos of Switchfoot now!
 

 
So go ahead, queue up your music and flip through some colorful photos!

Lastly we’ve added larger, more vibrant art to many of our most popular artist pages. Check out Christina Aguilera's page to see for yourself.

That’s it for now. Happy listening!

-Bill

Sr. Product Manager

Bookmark and Share