Tech Briefs: Napster "free" again, iPod nano², more

Napster has updated its pricing, claiming to now offer its music for "free." Of course, it's a far cry from Napster's original days offering free — and illegal — downloads; Napster allows you to play a song 5 times before charging you $0.99, or you can pay $10 a month and listen as much as you want. While allowing you to decide if a song is catchy enough to warrant a purchase certainly allows for more choice, it's doubtful if a significant number of consumers will ditch iTunes for it.… Analysts report that Apple is planning to double the capacity of the iPod nano and add basic video functionality to the popular music player. Increasing the capacity of the 2- and 4-GB nanos to 4 and 8 GB, respectively, the new nanos are expected to be released around September of this year. If the price point stays the same, predictions are for sales to be very good for the upgraded players in the holiday season.… ABC launched its new streaming service today, offering a test run of free, full-length episodes of shows, viewable online the day after they air. Offering new episodes of Lost, Desperate Housewives, Alias, and Commander in Chief, the new Web site makes viewers watch four 30-second commercials that are unskippable, although viewers can choose which commercial they want to watch. The test run lasts until the end of June, though ABC plans to bring it back for the fall season.