Napster is set to rise like a phoenix from the ashes this Christmas, but this time with its legal affairs in check, new Napster owner Roxio promises.
The ill-fated song-swapping service, which was knocked offline last year after a prolonged legal battle with the record industry over copyright infringement allegations, will re-emerge as a legal paid music service Napster 2.0.
At launch, the new Napster will boast access to up to 500,000 tracks through individual download and monthly subscription of internet radio.
The service will be offering its music content through deals with all five major record labels and a variety of independent labels, in stark contrast to the service's freewheeling days when it offered users the ability to trade their music at no cost.
Roxio has been laying the groundwork for a Napster relaunch since it bought the service's remaining assets late last year. Since then, it scooped up online music subscription service Pressplay and recruited music experts on to its staff.
Roxio boss Chris Gorog said in a release that the early prototypes of Napster 2.0 are progressing well and that more details of the service will be revealed closer to launch.