Napster chief Chris Gorog has criticized Apple for pushing its ACC format.
In an interview with The Guardian Gorog says: "Companies pushing a propriety agenda are consumer-unfriendly experiences because they're cloistering them in an experience that they can't leave and eliminating choice."
Gorog believes pressure from iPod owners will force Apple to reconsider its stance. "The iPod is great if you're happy to shop at only one record store. It's like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road. I think consumers, when they understand that, will be kind of p*****d off."
Gorog believes the Windows Media Format used by the Napster music-download service will become the ubiquitous platform: "Napster is a Windows Media Audio house designed around that digital rights management. We are a believer in the technology and we believe it's going to be, and basically is, the ubiquitous platform."
The edge Gorog expects the Napster to excel. He believes that a number of factors will give Napster the edge over iTunes and other services set to launch in Europe. "The à la carte download model is a great catalyst because it's very easy to understand. We believe the subscription opportunity offers greater value and in the mid to long term will be the way that most people buy their music," he says.
He also believes that Napster's commitment to music, its community features, its brand and its hybrid model of subscription and the "enormous affection" the brand enjoys, will enable it to become dominant. "People still love the brand. We've been able to take Napster into a paid model but they still use the same adjectives to describe it - innovative, independent, cool, irreverent, renegade," he explains.
Napster is due to launch in the UK this summer.