Napster is planning to shift the entire download sales catalog on its PC service to the MP3 format in the second calendar quarter of 2008.
All single track and album sales will be made available exclusively in the MP3 format, which will be compatible with virtually all MP3 players and music phones around the globe including the popular iPod and iPhone. Napster says it is the first music subscription service featuring major label content to announce a 100% adoption of the MP3 format for download sales.
Napster says it is the largest on-demand music subscription service in the industry and the unlimited music model will remain a core focus of the company. Napster To Go is a portable subscription service and is supported by a wide array of device manufacturers including major mobile phone manufacturers, who are expected to ship new Napster To Go compatible handsets in 2008.
Commenting on the company's move to MP3s for download sales Napster's Chairman and CEO Chris Gorog said, "As there is now a critical mass of support for MP3s we are very pleased to announce we will soon offer our customers the user-friendly MP3 file format throughout our product line-up and provide the top-tier content our users expect from Napster. The ubiquity and cross-platform compatibility of MP3s should create a more level playing field for music services and hardware providers and result in greater ease of use and broader adoption of digital music."
Napster will provide further details about its MP3 initiative upon its upcoming availability.