by Jon Mandle on May 3, 2006

In a desperate effort to stay afloat bold and forward-looking move, napster (which shares only a name with the program from the glory days of 2000 and 2001) has made (most of) its 2 million tunes available for free. The catches: 1. you need to register (or find a clever way around registration); 2. it pops up a flash player so you can’t download them (unless you’re much more clever about these things than I am); 3. there’s an occasional ad; 4. you can only play each tune 5 times (on each registration, I’m guessing); 5. it is relatively low quality.

It may not be as convenient as various internet radio stations (especially customizable ones like launchcast) that you can just leave on, but if you’re looking for a particular song – say, after soaking in Bruce Springsteen’s version of “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?” you want to hear Ry Cooder’s version, or the original by Blind Alfred Reed (or the one by the Del Lords that I just found) – this is the place for you.



Sven 05.03.06 at 9:26 am

I recently came across this search engine for blogger’s streaming playlists. The lineup’s not very deep (although it does have Ry Cooder), but it is high-quality and the lists provide some nice serendipity.


Sven 05.03.06 at 9:27 am


Maurice Meilleur 05.03.06 at 9:50 am

For Mac users:

Just saying.


Dave 05.03.06 at 11:11 am

Nice to see a mention of the Del Lords’ version. That’s how I first learned about the song many years ago. Bruce’s version is spectacular.


wcw 05.03.06 at 1:08 pm

The original is already available for all, and likely at better quality than Napster. As I mentioned in my comment to the last thread on this song, it is off copyright and available at

Jeepers, kids, read comments after you post, huh?


Abelard 05.03.06 at 5:03 pm

Yawn. People still paying for music or suffering pop-up advertising? Get with Limewire.


Ron F 05.03.06 at 5:50 pm

Apparently real Ry Cooder fans use bittorrent to download his Old Grey Whistle Test performance of How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live, and much else besides.



goatchowder 05.03.06 at 7:13 pm

Bah! “Flash player”! Grumble, grumble, hate.


Michael O'Hare 05.03.06 at 7:15 pm

Why won’t AudioXtract capture these songs into nicely labeled MP3 files as they play?


justin 05.04.06 at 12:27 am

Whats the use of providing 2millions tunes for free when the catches r not so happening! People r still paying for music. But the Bruce’s version is my all time favorite.


emma 05.05.06 at 12:34 am

What will we do with the free 2 millions tunes, when the catches doesn’t seem to rock at all? U still have to buy the music. Thats not happening at all.

Comments on this entry are closed.