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edited for brevity from press release today

Rhapsody today announced that it has signed an agreement with Napster, a unit of consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Rhapsody will acquire Napster subscribers and certain other assets, and Best Buy will receive a minority stake in Rhapsody.

The transaction is expected to close on or around November 30, 2011.

"This deal will further extend Rhapsody's lead over our competitors in the growing on-demand music market," said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. "There's substantial value in bringing Napster's subscribers and robust IP portfolio to Rhapsody as we execute on our strategy to expand our business via direct acquisition of members and distribution deals."

The transaction will combine the subscriber bases of the two largest premium on-demand music services in the United States, and will allow Rhapsody to further enhance its product line to deliver even more value to its members.

"This is a 'go big or go home' business, so our focus is on sustainably growing the company," said Irwin. "We're excited to welcome Napster music fans to the best on-demand music experience anywhere. Our new members will have more places to connect to the music they love and to discover new favorites, guided by Rhapsody's rockstar editorial team and the tastes of other Rhapsody members via our innovative social features."
 

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I wonder what this means for Canadian users. Currently Napster is available in Canada and Rhapsody is not. Are they "in or out"?

When I moved from Napster to Rdio for my Sonos system I did notice that the music selection went down (Napster had a bigger library).
 

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I wonder what this means for Canadian users.
I can tell you what happened when Rhapsody acquired Yahoo Music, which was also available in Canada. Canadian customers' accounts were terminated and they were promised refunds. I was owed several months in credits and refunds under the Yahoo Music brand when it was cut off to Canadians. I received nothing in compensation. US customers were given a choice between refunds or full credit toward Rhapsody plus extra months service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wonder what this means for Canadian users.
My guess is very little. Maybe some rebranding and higher prices.

I think they are just combining the two services for economies of scale and to eliminate some competition.
 

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I sure hope there is no change for Canadian Napster Users. I have been a sub for about 3 years and I cannot remember when I song I wanted was not available. The 14.99 option for unlimited transferring to mp3 devices has been more than worth it. 3 people in our house use it to fill up mp3 players. I am sure we have transfered about 10,000 songs combined. Don't know what we would do if it were shut down, as they are the only option for Canada.
 

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Received this today - Napster Canada Discontinued

Thank you for being a valued Napster customer. After seven years of service, Napster Canada will be shutting down all of its services on 12/16/2011. If you are a subscriber, you may continue to use the service as long as your subscription is active and until 12/16/2011. There is no need to cancel - you will not be charged for any subscription fees after our shutdown (and we won't bill you for any renewal that may occur between now and the shutdown).

Whether you are a subscriber or not, if you have purchased and retain any still-unused download credits, be sure to use your remaining download credits before 12/16/2011. After that date they will expire.

Also, we strongly suggest that you back up all of your previously purchased and downloaded tracks because we will not be able to provide any customer support relating to them, including any further backup copies, after 12/16/2011. These downloads are DRM-encoded WMA files and can be backed up by burning them to audio CDs. Doing this will allow you access to your music on any CD player and generally have a maintenance free permanent copy. If you do not back up your purchased Napster music downloads by burning them to CD and you later change or reinstall your computer's operating system, have a system failure or experience DRM corruption, then the downloads will stop playing and you will permanently lose access to them.

We really appreciate your business, and thank you again for listening.

Sincerely,
Your friends at Napster
 

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That's basically the same letter that Rhapsody sent me when they shut down Yahoo Music. Rhapsody is geoblocked to Canadians. Customers do not receive a refund for service owed after the shutdown date. Online access to purchased music is lost. Subscribers are left with a low bit rate DRM encrypted copy that is irretrievable if the key or the music is lost. Yet another music service that is available to Canadians is gone.
 

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I had just paid for a years subscription when I was notified that Yahoo Music was being bought by Rhapsody and the service would end in Canada in 2 months.
The unused portion of my subscription would be refunded at shutdown. I then asked how much interest they were going to pay me for holding my money for the unused 10 months of subscription fees for 2 months. I got lots of stock answers but the question was never answered. I kept at them and finally they gave me another stock answer - "at your request your subscription has been cancelled and you have been credited the full amount". I never asked to cancel but I guess their book of stock answers couldn't deal with me.

Now Napster Canada is shutting down with no alternative available for Canadians who use MP3 players. I found the same information on the Napster site as in my Email. I left feedback for them "thanking" them for informing me before the Christmas shopping season. I informed them that Best Buy and Future Shop would be at the BOTTOM of my list for all my Christmas shopping and all future electronics and major appliance purchases.

There are lots of Canadian owned stores/chains with competitive prices that will have what I want or need in these product lines. Best Buy doesn't care about Canadians in this financial decision. I don't care about Best Buy in my financial decisions.
 

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I am very sorry to see Napster eliminated from the Canadian market.
Is there any other service available for Canadians that allows unlimited downloading to an MP3 player?
Could someone with the knowledge of the legalities please explain what is in our Canadian law that disallows Amercian providers like Pandora, Rhapsody, etc from entering our market.
 

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I am sorry to see it go as it was a great additiion to our Sonos system. None of the others offer the ease of use (at least with our system).
 

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Also, we strongly suggest that you back up all of your previously purchased and downloaded tracks because we will not be able to provide any customer support relating to them, including any further backup copies, after 12/16/2011. These downloads are DRM-encoded WMA files and can be backed up by burning them to audio CDs. Doing this will allow you access to your music on any CD player and generally have a maintenance free permanent copy. If you do not back up your purchased Napster music downloads by burning them to CD and you later change or reinstall your computer's operating system, have a system failure or experience DRM corruption, then the downloads will stop playing and you will permanently lose access to them.
So they're encouraging customers to circumvent the DRM as the product they have purchased may no longer be functional after they shut down service in Canada. Good thing C-11 hasn't passed yet.:rolleyes:
 

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It sounds like Napster provides a way to make CD player compatible copies or DRM protected digital copies that are tied to a single PC. I don't see how using the music under the provided terms of service can be construed as breaking any laws.

I've seen services that allowed a low bit rate copy to CD and provided a higher bit rate stream while subscribed. In any event, Canadians are getting the shaft since the DRM key and the purchased music will be lost eventually plus support that was promised with the purchase is being taken away. This is the third time I've seen this happen with music services. Buying DRM protected music is turning out to be a swindle since the purchase only lasts as long as the music provider, which isn't very long in today's marketplace.
 

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I am sorry to see it go as it was a great additiion to our Sonos system. None of the others offer the ease of use (at least with our system).
As a Sonos user I've found Rdio is superior to Napster, especially when you factor in performance/responsiveness.
 

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I've been with Napster for years, too and I recently found out that Zune's Music Pass (Microsoft) is now available in Canada (as of October). I'm trying out the 14 day free trial right now. So far, it seems to be essentially the same service as Napster and Napster-to-go. The music pass allows unlimited downloads of DRM music and full-track previews for a monthly subscription fee. It will also sync with a mobile device but as far as I can tell you need a Windows Phone or a Zune mp3 player (although I think they are phasing this out). You need to download the software and to be signed in with a Windows Live ID (don't forget that part or it won't work).


(and no, I'm not spamming, I just thought I'd sign up in thoughts that it might help out the next person).

Sandy
 

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I don't understand why someone would, after being burned by Napster's DRM, subscribe to yet another DRM crippled service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Buying music vs subscribing to a subscription service are two totally different things.
 

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I guess if iTunes Match makes its way to Canada it can be used to convert DRM'ed tracks purchased from Napster into DRM-free 256 bit AAC files from iTunes.
 

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Not sure if this would happen - especially since iTunes doesn't generally support WMA files (let alone ones with DRM). Unless you burned it to an audio CD, then re-ripped them, I don't think iTunes Match will work.

Update: Just saw this on Apple's support document for How to Subscirbe to iTunes Match.

Songs purchased outside of the United States iTunes Store containing DRM (Digital Rights Management) will not be matched or uploaded to iCloud.
Now, you might be able to circumvent this using my method above, but I wonder if that would cause iTunes to not correctly match the songs. If so, the re-ripped versions would be uploaded as is, which means reduced quality.
 

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@BGY11 - Yes you would have to burn the DRM'ed tracks to CD, that is the recommended method for backing them up anyway, and then rip them back into iTunes. You lose quality through that process, unless you use loss-less, but the whole point is to bring them into iTunes so you can match them to new, DRM-free tracks from the iTunes Store.

Ideally, since it's going to cost an additional $25.00 on top of what you've already paid for the tracks from Napster, the more tracks you have the better. At least this gives people an easy way to re-acquire the music as good quality, DRM-free tracks that they never have to worry about in the future.
 
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