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Dell and Napster Team Up to Deliver Music to Students
July 6, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Even in death, Napster still manages to make the headlines. Of course, the name "Napster" isn't dead, but memories of its former greatness certainly are. Although today's P2P networks outsize Napster, few have been able to replicate its communal nature. Since Napster's death, the name was revived to push Roxio's legal music distribution service.

The Napster music service has been marginally successful since its reintroduction. However like Rhapsody, it has struggled to make any kind of dent into the dominating market share held by Apple's iTunes. iTunes continues to hold a 70-80% (depending on who you ask) market share because of its brilliant marketing strategy. Apple not only owns iTunes, but it also is the manufacturer of the wildly popular iPod. The two have become so interwoven that it almost seems natural for many iPod consumers to utilize iTunes.

iTunes continues to demonstrate its dominance as it is scheduled to break 500 million downloads within the coming weeks. In addition, Apple is ensuring its place within the podcasting market, which is becoming increasingly associated with the iPod (iTunes 4.9 now supports podcasting.) Interestingly, Apple did not develop the technology or the term “podcasting”.

In any case, other authorized music services are looking for various avenues in an effort to compete with iTunes. Napster has taken the college/university campus route, offering discounted tracks to staff members and students. The tactic appears to be working, as Napster has teamed up with Dell to deliver music directly from the campus network.

The goal of the program is to avoid the bandwidth sapping problems associated with downloading music. Although on many campuses Napster is an "approved" source of music, the downloading of files still creates bandwidth headaches. Napster and Dell believe they have found the solution.

Instead of campus students connecting to Naster's central servers and downloading files, the music will be stored locally on Dell PowerEdge 1855 blade servers. According to the Napster's press release, this should alleviate college/university bandwidth while allowing hundreds of students to download music simultaneously – and also discouraging the use of P2P networks.

"We have no doubt that both colleges and students will benefit tremendously from a solution that combines Napster's premium digital music service with Dell's industry-leading technology and services," said Chris Gorog, chairman and chief executive officer, Napster. "As the first digital music service to offer a solution to colleges and universities, we are proud to take this offering to the next level with Dell."

The University of Washington (UW) will be the guinea pig for this experiment starting this fall, although the program is available immediately to all colleges/universities.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized Music Store :: Napster

You can read the press release here.

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