Unlike iTunes, Napster was a reasonable 6MB download. Unfortunately, that’s one of the few good things I can say about it.
When I first opened Napster, the window was too small, so I maximized it. Unfortuantely this resulted in the window’s title bar being covered by my taskbar (which I have placed at the top of my screen), and an empty space being left at the bottom of my screen. This is not how applications should maximize. The only way to see the titlebar again is to either move my taskbar or right-click on Napster’s taskbar icon and choose “Restore”. Napster also does not conform to Windows color settings, and just like iTunes, the menus DO conform to Windows color settings, resulting in an ugly clash between my Windows colors and Napster’s skin. Bad, bad design.
The main screen has a huge area with a flash animation advertising Napster Premium. Why waste space? Tell me about MUSIC. That’s why I’m using Napster! And there are too many scrollbars. When the window is at its default size, there’s a vertical and horizontal scrollbar around the main window area. Then there are two more vertical scrollbars within this area, one each for the New Releases and Advance Tracks section.
The selection is better than iTunes in some areas, worse in others, which means that it sucks. The music is in DRM-protected WMA format. DRM sucks, and WMAs sound hollow. Maybe someday there’ll be a digital music service that doesn’t suck. But until then, I’ll be sticking with Amazon, eMusic, and good old-fashioned music stores.