It looks like Napster has decided to burn through another round of angel financing with a giveaway of a bunch of Rio MP3 players, including the 128 meg Chiba that made our holiday gift guide, and the highly-rated 1.5 meg HD Nitrus. The Nitrus will cost an extra $80 on top of the $120/year Napster subscription, but the Chiba is free, as in beer. Napster, incidently, is one of the worst DRM-restricted music services around: music you download is never really yours, since you can only access it while you continue to pay the subscription price. And they don’t even let you burn it to CD, instead recommending that “for less than $10” you can get a really long cable to connect your PC to your home stereo. So, to sum up, nice MP3 player but not worth getting Naptered for.
In related news, Audible is giving away an MP3 player with their service too — the Muvo that we panned more than a year ago. I hate to say I told you so, but I did predict these things would end up on the scrap heap pretty quickly. And if you’re even thinking about taking advantage of this deal, dont: there is no worse product for audio books than the Muvo. Audible’s a great service, but if you can afford their fees you ought to just buy a nice player with a higher capacity and an LCD.
Oops – the picture I used for the Chiba is actually the picture of the Rio Cali, which is the same internally, but has a slightly different design. This is the Chiba.