Napster and satellite radio company XM today provided the first glimpse of the results of their strategic alliance, announced in July.
XM's 5m US subscribers can now grab a public beta release of the XM+Napster software that connects Internet-streamed radio broadcasts to digital music downloads.
The application tunes into and plays over 80 XM Radio Online-hosted music channels and allows listeners to buy songs from Napster that they've just heard on the radio. XM subscribers can pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited-but-tethered downloads or they can purchase individual songs on a one-off basis.
How often XM listeners will purchase recently heard songs remains to be seen. With so many music channels available, we're sure XM listeners may quickly find that they're downloading less and less stuff once the novelty wears off. After all, music is about listening, not possession - something too many P2P advocates appear to forget - and with a decent channel to tune in to - Radio Paradise is our personal favourite - it's surprising easy to find yourself spending less time listening to albums.
And that means spending less money on them, which may not be the result Napster is looking for. ®