Comparison of coverage of iTunes and Napster

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As I threatened to do in last week, I’ve taken the list of songs from Nick Hornby’s book Songbook (known as 31 Songs outside the US) and compared the availability of the 31 songs he wrote about on Napster and iTunes.

The complete results, and appropriate caveats, are listed here.

The bottom line?

The services are pretty close in coverage, at least for this somewhat random sample of songs at this particular point in time. There was one case of an artist carried on one service but not at all on the other (Ani DiFranco shows up on iTunes but not Napster).

There were two cases where Napster had the specific song but iTunes didn’t, but had other songs by the same artists (Van Morrison’s Caravan, Pissing in a River by Patti Smith) and two cases the other way around (A Minor Incident by Badly Drawn Boy and The Calvary Cross by Richard and Linda Thompson).

Conclusions?

At least at present I wouldn’t pick one of these services over the other based on at least this look at coverage.

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