Napster 2.0 will open for business next week, when Roxio releases a “public beta test version” of a new music downloading service.
Roxio purchased the “Napster” name last year, but the new service will otherwise have nothing to do with Napster’s previous incarnation. There will be a pay-per-download service, similar to iTunes and MusicMatch, as well as a subscription service.
The field is filling up. Napster 2.0 will compete against pay-per-download services from MusicMatch and BuyMusic.com, and subscription services from RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and MusicNet. Apple’s iTunes’ service is supposed to be available for Windows by the end of the year, and Dell has announced plans to launch a music store later this month.