The great MP3 player giveaway

No sooner do we hear that students in Dover are to receive free MP3 players to listen to lecture podcasts than Napster decides to give them away to ev

No sooner do we hear that students in Dover are to receive free MP3 players to listen to lecture podcasts than Napster decides to give them away to everyone. And it’s not just some nasty Matusushi either, no no. We hear that the bundled player is a rather tasty 512MB SanDisk Sansa. But before you rush off to bag one of the flash-based players, there is one small catch. Napster’s only giving the players to people who sign up to its ‘To Go’ subscription service for a minimum of three months. At £14.95 a month, the all-you-can-eat music service is designed for fairly dedicated music fans but it does give access to more than 2 million tracks. Naturally, the free player is fully Napster-compatible, which means you can fill and refill it with 240 licensed tunes a time. Napster’s already hinting that this could be the first of many branded players that will see us buying music in the same way we buy mobiles: paying a subscription for the service and getting the hardware heavily subsidised by the service provider. The bad news is that, like a mobile, if your subscription lapses so does your music licence – but at least you’ll still have a free Sansa.