Service launches with 1.5M titles.

Napster goes live on Friday (Dec. 9) in Germany, its first non-English speaking market. The digital music service also operates in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Described as "the territory's first ever flat-rate digital music service," Napster Germany boasts a catalog of 1.5 million tracks licensed from the major labels and more than 150 independents. Roughly 20,000 German-language albums are available at launch, the company says.

PC users can pay €9.95 ($11.66) for monthly subscription to the service. For €14.95 ($17.52) each month, users can transfer an unlimited number of songs to compatible portable music players as part of the "Napster To Go" service.

Customers can also buy individual downloads for €0.99 ($1.16), or €9.95 for an album. Free 30-second samples are available. Downloads can be copied on up to three PC hard drives and to two compatible portable players.

As previously reported, Thorsten Schliesche is Napster Germany's Frankfurt-based VP and GM.

To raise awareness of the new operation, Napster is backing its launch with an integrated marketing campaign starting Friday on national TV. On an exclusive basis, commercial TV channel Sat 1 will include Napster banner ads on its Web site.

Napster has also reached various agreements to build its presence in German retail outlets.