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Appeared on: Monday, July 28, 2003
Napster to get back online by Christmas

Music download site Napster will relaunch as a fully legitimate service in time for Christmas, its new owner has confirmed.

In 2002, Napster was bought by Roxio, which makes CD-burning software and is working on relaunching Napster as a legal music site. The new Napster, called Napster 2.0, is expected to offer the largest authorised online catalogue in the world.

It will have almost 500,000 songs on offer, Roxio chairman and chief executive Chris Gorog said.

Fans will be able to buy music with either a monthly subscription or through one-off purchases.

Napster 2.0 will also offer customised radio stations and the ability to copy songs onto CDs and other devices, Mr Gorog said.

The key characteristics of the original Napster - "independence, innovation and freedom of choice" - will still be there, he said.

But the aim is to create "the best music site in the world while at the same time respect the artists who created the music we all love".

Roxio bought Napster for $5m in November 2002 and acquired a legitimate download site, Pressplay, earlier this year.

Some 97% of fans recognised the Napster name and about half said they were willing to pay for downloads, he said.


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