While Appleis newborn operating system begins to gain strength and support, in many categories OS X native applications are still difficult to come by. The Napster based music sharing service is not one of them.
After over a year of "unofficial" Napster clients, Napster struck a deal with Black Hole Media to label their Napster client, Macster, the official Napster for Macintosh program. Much to the delight of the Macintosh community, the first official Napster for Mac client showed up as a Carbonized application, allowing OS X users to join in the fun.
However, Napster for Mac is not the only OS X Napster client available. One of the first truly "native" OS X programs, and by "native" we mean written using Apple Cocoa APIis, was belgoNap. The program provides a very simple interface for connecting to Napster servers and for searching for and downloading music. One of the advantages of belgoNap is that it is a Cocoa application, and thus takes full advantage of OS Xis many new features.
Another Cocoa Napster client is Maxster. Maxster recently received a major upgrade, and while still a work in progress, provides the standard Napster interface and very impressive search times. While both belgoNap and Maxter are Cocoa apps, and get the job done, at this time only Napster for Mac has a full array of features.
Napster for Mac allows users to share their own files, rather than just downloading others. Napster for Mac also allows users to connect specifically to other specified user accounts, as well as offering a Napster based chat service.
All three applications will get the job done. Napster users should download and test out all three programs to draw their own conclusions. What better excuse for taking some time to listen to some great music.