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Napster: Boo! Rio: Yay!

At 3pm, I bought my daughter a Samsung-Napster MP3 player. Deciding among the indiscernibles, the Napster’s ability to broadcast to an FM channel for wireless car connectivity sold me.

At 7:30pm, I returned the Napster and got a Rio Karma.

I had a bad feeling about the Napster from the moment I started installing the software. It kept adding layers and layers of cruft, forcing me to upgrade my Windows Media Player, bundling in a CD burner, forcing me to register at…window after window of incomprehensible files and DLLs until I wanted to scream that it ought to take its over-educated, over-engineered supercilious ass to the mountains and take up goat herding. And, sure enough, although Windows recognized the Napster device, the Napster software didn’t. After four hours of trying, I gave up.

The Rio is a thing of beauty. Baddaboom, it installed. Baddabing, it let me download MP3s into it. Now that’s the way software should work!

(Yes, we looked at the Ipod, and it was elegant and supercool, but also super-expensive, especially since the 15G version would have required us to buy a Firewire-USB converter.)

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13 Responses to “Napster: Boo! Rio: Yay!”

  1. iPod, and it was elegant and supercool, but also…

    If there’s one rule, it’s you get what you pay for. The cheaper (and now available) mini has the USB cable included with all models.

  2. But David, you like using fiddly software that gives you minor adrenaline rushes when you get it to do anything at all.
    Or did I misunderstand the last post?

  3. Napster: Boo! Rio: Yay!.

  4. Or a firewire card. But yeah that is another $25-$35. As has been pointed out already, the mini iPods also do USB2 now and I expect all future ones to do the same.

    I can’t help but wonder if your decision was partially due to the fact that you don’t care for Apples “FairPlay” DRM. I myself think it’s quite tolerable. Are other online stores selling big name artists with less restrictive DRM? Or do you not intend to use such stores at all? The answer to such questions might likely drive the purchase of the player.

  5. Another less super sleek option is the Archos 20g Jukebox Recorder, which has an open-source operating system available (called RockBox). Tech support stinks, but the bang for the buck is unbeatable.

  6. It’s probably above your price range (it’s a high end model), but I’ve been enjoying the iriver ihp-140. 40 gigs, 450 bucks. That’s an option if you are not interested in DRM-protected material, though it supports OGG. Other note: I use it for recording. I recorded the entire SXSW 2004 conference on it, and it took up barely more than a gig or two. On another note, here’s the world’s longest playlist
    and a happy delightful xylophone song from the 1920’s

  7. I can definately relate to your frustration.
    After enjoying Napster for just a short time in its earlier incarnation, I switched to I-Tunes because i wanted some leagal downloads and thought it might be nice to experience some of the world-class design Apple is (supposed to be)famous for.

    Well, it was NO Napster but after many hours I managed to get it downloaded and installed. What I saw was a weak imitation of Windows Media Player, a music store with precious few songs I wanted to own and prices that offered no real savings over buying the CD.

    Despite those sucky qualities I bought a dozen songs from them, only to be told this week that if I wanted to buy any more, I would have to get the new version. I don’t say “upgrade’ because that wasn’t an option. I had to redo the entire 19MB download (over dial-up) and of course they lost loads of my personal info in the process!

  8. itunes is the way to go. i think napster has a personal resentment against apple. but they have no boast to even compare. what a sorry program.

  9. yeah, i heared this many days ago, but i just like Mp3 to CD Burner Pro

    thanks to it!

  10. i bought myself the samsung napster and found that you dont actually need to install any napster software at all. you just copy the mp3s to device using windows media player. i found out everything i needed to know at this site i find is very useful. it has all the downloads you need.

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