updated 01:00 pm EDT, Tue September 1, 2009
No Napster iPhone app
Napster's streaming and download music service will not be coming to the iPhone via a downloable app in the App Store after all, according to a recent MocoNews report. A rep from Napster said the service, which would be offered at Best Buy stores, is not being sent out for Apple approval because of the high licensing fees involved.
This cost would force Napster to charge too much for its service. Some streaming apps offered by Apple are subject to $15 fees. Napster will instead offer browser-based streaming at m.napster.com on cellphones and it is working with music labels to lower this price point so it can offer the full mobile functionality on iPhones and other devices. The service is priced at $5 per month and like Napster's cheapest regular subscription will include five DRM-free tracks users can keep. Without a licensed iPhone app, users won't be able to download the tracks straight to their handsets, but instead will need to sync them onto their phones through iTunes.
Customers who buy a non-Apple cellphone on contract at Best Buy will get Napster free for three months, which includes 15 songs they can download and keep.
The news comes despite an earlier report that had Napster trying to hire programmers experienced with Mac programming.