NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — After scathing criticism in canny music blog HypeBot called the download service to task for their lack of iPod compatibility, Napster responded, elucidating their position.
Napster maintains that it will support DRM-free mp3 format music when "most tracks are available in that format."
Currently, only about 30 percent of the music available for download commercially is available in this format. This problem is further exacerbated by Apple's unwillingness to license it's "Fairplay" copyright protection scheme which currently makes the ubiquitous iPod incompatible with some file formats, particularly Microsoft's WMA.
The criticism came after a required 10k filing in which the firm warned shareholders that incompatibility with the newly-released iPhone might negatively impact sales.
This back and forth has played out against the backdrop of increasing digital music sales, plummeting album sales and the apparently unsteady lurching of the traditional music industry towards a DRM-free scheme. According to a recent report by AP, album sales were down 15 percent since January while digital music sales were up by a towering 49%. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writer