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December 13, 2003

iTunes vs. Napster

When I read about iTunes gift certificates the other day, redeemable for online music downloads, I thought it was a great idea and a perfect gift for any techie music lover on your Christmas shopping list. Imagine my surprise today, when in a Kroger in Decatur, Alabama, is a carousel of Napster gift cards near the checkout! Is Napster going after middle America? I may have to browse around the service, anyone have any experiences, good or bad?

I've previewed many songs and albums at the iTunes music store, but have so far declined to purchase any online. I'm no fan of digital rights management, and have become attached to album artwork. Has anyone used both services? Which was your favorite, and why?

P.S. This is not a plea for downloadable music gift cards. I'll save my pleas for an iPod. My wife, lovely as she is, argues that I really don't need an iPod, that I'm usually within ear's reach of a computer, CD or CD/MP3 player. My usual retort is, "What do any of us REALLY need..." That never works. Steve Jobs, are you reading this? Help a needy man...

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