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Napster To Abandon MP3 For .NAP 214

simong writes "As reported in The Register Napster is to abandon the MP3 format for a proprietary .nap format being developed with Bertelsmann. " As Cliff pointed out "dirt.nap is about what Napster amounts to these days anyway." You can get more more information from Yahoo's Reuters feed.
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Napster To Abandon MP3 For .NAP

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  • Yea for the BSD license. NAP is just an incompatible version of OGG/Vorbis.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who are you kidding? Napster was successful simply because it gave people an easy way to get something for nothing. It was NOT because of any high-minded notion of empowering people. (Not that I'm against such things--I think personal empowerment is a critically important issue today thanks to the increasing social influence of corporations.)

    Honestly, how many people heard about Napster and thought, "I can wrest control from the evil corporations of the world", and how many thought, "free music!"?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    No, retard, check the alt.english.usage FAQ and you will clearly say that while the British (and the rest of the english speaking world) treats proper nouns as plural (such as "Microsoft are releasing...") while the American English dialect treats them singularly ("Microsoft is releasing..."). Read up before you troll, jackass.
  • Alright, so assuming that people are willing to pay to use a good system for downloading music. Examine a possible scenerio of how it plays out.

    You've got a small number of people that will pay and sign on initially. Most other people (including myself) are going to wait to see if it actually flies before dropping any hard earned cheddar.

    Since there's only a few initial users sharing files, the amount of available music won't be as great. And the stuff they have will be extremely bogged down because, as mentioned, there are so few people trading. What happens now is that the initial reports come back from the front that the new system sucks a nut (regardless of it's technical merit) and Napster dies.

  • I use MP3s only because they are ubiquitous. Please let me know how ubiquitous a .nap file will be? I'm sure I'm not alone in my assertion that this is not going to fly because it's yet another non-ubiquitous format.

    Lets face it, Napster is dead, and using yet another format isn't going to help it. End of story. Don't worry about turning the lights off when you leave; the RIAA will reposess them in the morning.

  • I thought the people with skills, or the script kiddies still in diapers, were bringing down efnet?
  • Well, if you take a quick look at the post (and has a very slow or malfunctional brain), you might just find it informative.
  • Since when is Louis Armstrong an obscure jazz artist? You need to learn about
  • by crisco ( 4669 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @09:43AM (#79545) Homepage
    Yeah I just found that yesterday, I don't usually use IE on Windows (Opera or Mozilla) but I fired it up to check a site I'm working on and started blowing veins out of the side of my head when links started popping up in yellow.

    With Kazaa being positioned as a good candidate for a napster replacement, quite a few people will end up with it. At least the mp3 sharing market has fragmented, otherwise we would have the successor to SamrtTags.

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • Stopping posting Napster stories. Nobody cares anymore. Keep it to "Stuff that matters". Maybe just one more when they finally die.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:19AM (#79547)
    will there be the ability to do a conversion back to MP3 once you have it? This will severely limit the number of users from the non-standard platforms.

    I know that the format will be easily cracked (as many people will mention on this thread today) and I know hardly anyone will use it (as more people will post), but for those people who are actually interested in it, would it actually be useful?

    Most people download MP3's to burn to CD to listen to later. Would they at least convert to WAV to allow for burning?
  • it needs to either recognize one of the MOST common filetypes on the net .ZIP as such or bow out. I like the intelligent downloads but the categorizing is LAME. It ignoes the directory structure and presents everything in this silly list it has arranged and you CANNOT MOVE A FILE FROM ONE CATEGORY TO ANOTHER, only within the assigned category.
  • mp3 and ogg are both lossy formats. Ie they lose information to get such high compression rates. (which is why nobody downloads .wav's) .. my *guess* is, .nap will be lossy, and proprietary to boot. If you convert to mp3, the sound quality will be degraded further.

    Would they at least convert to WAV to allow for burning?

    Well in theory you can convert anything to anything. In practice your guess is as good as mine.

  • Go check out: The blurb about Napster as a company [].

    In particular:


    Napster, Inc. recently closed a $15 million Series C venture capital funding round. The round was led by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, with additional investments from Angel Investors LP and other existing investors. As part of the investment in Napster, Hummer Winblad partners Hank Barry and John Hummer joined the Board of Directors and Hank Barry assumed the role of interim CEO.

    I think that this means that they are not entirely free to all "jump ship and do something else". When you accept funding for your company, there are all sorts of things you have to agree to, and I wouldn't be surprised if the VC's are hounding them to do SOMETHING, to get that damn money pit back above water.

  • > I don't really think there need to be any more Napster stories now

    Naw, I wouldn't mind knowing when Napster gets liquidated. Between Morpheus and BearShare, I haven't used Napster in ages (of course, they're next).
  • by scrytch ( 9198 ) <> on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:54AM (#79552)
    (* Does WMA actually deliver on this promise of 1/2 filze size with superior sound? I've never messed with .WMA becase 1) Mirosoft is evil and I don't want them controlling my media and 2) MP3 is fine for me).

    Wow, there's a technically informed decision. Frauenhofer isn't exactly a saint either. [] If you want to base your format on software politics, why aren't you using Vorbis?

  • Here is where you ask not what your fellow AC's can do for you, it's what you can do for your fellow AC's. And then you declare your intention to do that not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Then someone takes a shot at you.
  •, you got it right the first time. Go back to your coffee.
  • by nebby ( 11637 )
    I don't understand why they don't all jump ship and do something else. It's plain obvious that they're never going to be "allowed" to do what they want to do. They'll keep bringing them to court until they run out of money. Is it because they have investors who will break their legs and other bits if they fail completely?

    This is getting ridiculous. First they filter everything.. and just when you thought that the RIAA et al couldn't pick on them any worse they decide they should switch away from MP3. They might as well just have a court rule that Napster can no longer use eletricity in their operations. Are you kidding me? I'm guessing the number of people who will be using Napster when they make the switch will be countable on my fingers and toes, if that. I don't think the Winamp developers and other players will bother implementing a codec for this crap, and even if Napster makes one, I doubt they'd even include it since it's just plain stupid.

    I kind of feel bad for them, though.
  • It's a good thing the RIAA sued Napster instead of cooperating -- if they had played Let's Make a Deal, they could have done something evil like this back when Napster had 30 million users and gotten the bulk of them to use their new, tightly controlled standard.

    Note that the whole business plan of Napster as a for-profit company was to leverage their userbase into a bargining arrangment with the RIAA that would give Napster a cut of online music sales.

    I don't think that the RIAA is saavy enough to "coopt" anyone. (That's Microsoft's job :) They just didn't like someone muscling in on their turf. The real wannabe coopters in the whole deal was Napster.
  • ROTFL! Can I use that as my sig? Genius!

  • Remember, if signatures are illegal, only outlaws will have signatures :)

  • In one place it's "your", in another place it's "you're". I was confused too.

  • Congratulations, you mentioned your personal reasons for not using Microsoft and are now "Flamebait". Welcome to the club!

  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:28AM (#79561) Journal
    ``Napster is at the forefront of using some extremely advanced rights management and security technologies in a file-sharing environment,'' Napster's interim CEO Hank Barry said in a statement.

    That's giving the customer what they want, for sure :)

    Like it or not, MP3 is the standard, and people aren't going to change away from it unless another format allows greater benefits for the end user (better quality/compression ratio) or the other format is aggressively pushed by Microsoft (not that WMA isn't necessarily better than MP3, but I hardly expect Microsoft to let it succeed or fail on its own merits).

    Nothing in file sharing is really going to change unless media companies really go after MP3 traders for their actions, which won't happen because of the massive potential backlash. You can destroy the Napster of the month for years, but all that will happen is people will trade underground the way they did before Napster made it so easy.

    On the plus side, torpedoing easy-to-use file sharing programs is going to boost overall computer literacy, as people learn to track down their MP3s on Usenet and FTP sites and/or apply DeCSS-style cracks to the wide variety of "secure" music formats. If you think of the 'net as an ecosystem, the destruction of one of the larger trees in the forest is just causing explosive adaptation among Internet users. If the RIAA had been careful, they could have preserved Napster long enough to channel most of its users into more profitable channels. As it is, they've destroyed the biggest centralized point for MP3 trading, and they'll never have another chance to influence so many music traders at once again.

  • Not only was Napster great for getting music that isn't currently in print, it was great for getting music that never was or will be in print.

    A lot of live or studio outtake stuff will never make it into print, due to either artist reluctance, contract BS, or other legal impediments. Sure, much of it is "available" if you want to spend a lot of time and money BSing around on the trading circuit, but it was nice to be able to get a song here or there.
  • 1) Not if you install the Linux version it doesn't.

    2a) That's what a good firewall--like the free-as-in-beer Zone Alarm []--is for. When it asks to connect to the Internet, you tell it "No way, Jose!" and "Remember this answer".

    2b) You can uninstall the spyware afterward without affecting the performance of the Satellite at all.


  • ...Napster is no longer relevant.

    That's it. Napster is now a non-entity. I bailed when they started making it harder to use, locking out Napigator (or trying!) and removing all the songs I wanted to grab. I've moved on to AudioGalaxy [], and I'll move on to something else when that bites the dust.

    I don't really think there need to be any more Napster stories now. Because the plain and simple facts are, Napster no longer offers what people originally wanted to use Napster for. And it looks like it will be offering less and less in the future. I think it's finished.


  • This has got to be the most outrageous idea since someone thought it would be cool to have changeable covers on their laptops. They are now missing the entire idea that they relied upon for forming the company. It is no longer easy. Now I can only play your files with your player and next, after AOL buys Napster, I can only play them on your AOL machine. Where are we headed. I want my MP3. Its easy, widespread, and is high quality. Its not for audiophiles, but you know.
  • Ok, I honestly don't know if youre being serious , but, just in case. There is nothing truly wrong with it, it just made me go... "WTF?!?". And this, as well, makes me go "WTF?!!?".
  • And ogg vorbis? With a name that rolls off the tounge like that, I'm sure it'll be a household name in no time. "Hey mommy I want an ogg vorbis player for xmas?" Riight.

    "Mommy, I want an MPEG audio layer III player for Christmas!"

    Also note that both "Emm-Pee-Three" and "Ogg Vohr-Biss" have 3 syllables. Neither is inherently easier to say than the other. And besides, Ogg Vorbis is named after characters from Terry Pratchett! How much cooler can you get than that? ;-)

  • Isn't it ironic, don't you think ?
    You've bought a .dot com and use the shares in the john

    With apologies to A. Morrisette
  • joeytsai typed: So, I have a question for everybody here - when you're looking for music online, what do you use? I'm using the opennap servers on napigator (via gnapster).

    I use a Mac and don't have an ISDN, DSL, satellite, or cable connection - so I'm stuck using IRC channels. It sucks and I can never find what I look for - which is exactly how the RIAA wants it. If anybody can show me a decent program that works, I would really appreciate it. (I already tried Macster, Napster, Mactella, and LimeWire)

  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:23AM (#79571) Homepage Journal
    It's a good thing the RIAA sued Napster instead of cooperating -- if they had played Let's Make a Deal, they could have done something evil like this back when Napster had 30 million users and gotten the bulk of them to use their new, tightly controlled standard.

    But instead, they destroyed Napster and along with it their last chance to coopt the music-trading community.

    Like that old guy said, If you strike [Napster] down, [the music-sharing community] will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.


  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:25AM (#79572) Homepage Journal
    How many people will pay to use a proprietary format?

    Good point. Oh, uh, by the way, Microsoft Office has how many hundred million users?



  • It's an impressive feat to put the last nail in your own coffin while your on the inside!
    That's "you're", not "your"... Dumbass.

    The PREVIEW button appears to be broken when I post before my first cup of coffee. Somebody fix that.


  • As soon as I figure out how to make you use my quote in my own proprietary format: yes.

    Ah, screw it... I haven't had enough coffee this morning to live up to that task. heh. Feel free.


  • by warpath ( 19103 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:28AM (#79575) Homepage Journal
    It's an impressive feat to put the last nail in your own coffin while your on the inside!

  • Napster is done....
    Nothing to see here people... Move Along!!!
  • Read my entire argument. I chose MP3 because everything uses it - the same reason most consumers will also choose MP3.

    I made a decision to stay away from WMA primarily because it isn't useful to me, and second because I dislike Microsoft's policies and behavior with regards to Windows and the like. I never said Frauenhofer was a saint; rather, I have a particular dislike for many of Microsoft's practices, and thus I try to avoid them when possible.
  • by EvlG ( 24576 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:36AM (#79578)
    All these formats have a tough road ahead of them. .MP3 is so FIRMLY entrenched in the market that it could take years before people give it up, if ever:

    1) hardware: lots of people are selling hardware MP3 players for PDAs, Cars, pants pockets, and home stereos. Anyone who thinks consumers will throw these away so soon is foolish. Lots of people I know buy players that only play MP3. Many of these are not upgradeable. They will be around for a long time, and MP3 will be too.

    2) software: lots of software already exists for ripping CDs into MP3s. iTunes has done wonders for introducing some of the less technical folk to digital music. Lots of people I know use musicmatch and realjukebox. These programs aren't going to magically stop working, and the MP3 files they produce won't either. Winamp, Musicmatch, iTunes, RealJukebox and their brethren will be around for a long time...

    3) habit: people are used to .MP3. They know that all their software works with it, they know what to do with it, they are aware of its limitations, and they know how to work around them. Expecting people to jump ship to a new format, just because it is available, especially when it offers DECREASED flexibility is also foolish. Consumers seem more than happy with the compression and sound quality of MP3 - it would take something truly amazing to come along to convince them to change. WMA and its 1/2 file size (supposedly at the same quality *) doesn't seem to be doing it.

    In conclusion, I don't see any reason people would leave MP3 for a new format any time soon. This i especially true for new formats with confusing DRM that restricts people from playing music whereever they go. Consumers don't want the hassle of backing up license keys to their music. They already bought it. Why do they need to license it?

    (* Does WMA actually deliver on this promise of 1/2 filze size with superior sound? I've never messed with .WMA becase 1) Mirosoft is evil and I don't want them controlling my media and 2) MP3 is fine for me).
  • Napster (within the context of a company that is licensing a technology) is a single entity, thus treating it as plural is just wrong. Now, if each employee of Napster invidually licensed something, it would be plural. It's simple, but it seems like 90% of Slashdot submitters and commenters can't get it right.
  • That's just another reason why breaking off with Britain was a good thing.

  • I think we can look to Napster to learn about how the business model for music distribution works when you're working with the music industry. Napster was an important force because of it's user base when it emerged, the music industry wanted it both ways. They wanted to be part of a popular site, and they wanted the retarded level of control with their imaginary "secure" music distribution systems that they guaranteed Napster became so assy that the reason they bought it was removed.

    The only model that made sense for Napster was the one that was initially discussed. The music industry allows a subscription based service which is "all you can download." Now we're stuck with some SDMI still born .NAP file scheme and bertlesmann has succeeded in creating the user bases necessary for 5 other programs to be viable.

    In any case, here's some links to what I use these days:

    The best Gnutella client: LimeWire []
    eDonkey []
    Audio Galaxy []
  • real slick interface and it works GREAT on Linux.

    You can actually get this to work on Linux? I've tried everything I can think of, and all I get is a tiny window that can't be resized. I tried doing research on the Web and Usenet, but all anyone ever talks about is how difficult it is to set up. I don't think I saw a single person who got it to run correctly.

    BTW, I'm using the latest LimeWire with the latest jre on Redhat 7.1 (it was a chore just to get java functioning at all on Redhat). Has anyone solved this "tiny window" problem? I saw several others referring to it on Usenet, but no solutions.

    "Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
  • Thanks for the suggestion, but I found where the problem lies. There was a bug in the original 1.6 release that prevented window resizing on the "Welcome" window, though apparently some WMs like Sawfish let you resize the window regardless of what the app says (I use IceWM by the way, though I tried WindowMaker and Enlightenment and neither of them worked either).

    Anyway, the LimeWire folks released a new version today (1.6b) that fixed the problem. I downloaded that, and the problem was fixed. Simple as that.

    I agree with you, LimeWire looks like a great app, and seems to run in Linux better than in Windows. I suppose I could whine about it not being free (as in speech), though I'm content to just keep my mouth shut and use it for the moment. :-)

    "Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
  • Napster never had a chance to become better. They were too busy fighting the RIAA to do anything about it. Of course new services are better, but they're just a bunch of me-too's.

    It's kind of like when DOOM came out, and then about a year later, there was about 50 other games like DOOM that had newer and better features. All the game magazines were talking about these things as DOOM-killers, and way better than DOOM. Well, no shit. It was a year old.

    Napster started a revolution, and some MBA's got together, and decided they could make a dollar, so they started up their own service. But, they did nothing original... they just improved on an old idea. You have to respect that.
  • Nothing in my list is impossible and everything in my list is desirable. Products are being put out which allow mp3s to be played in a car stereo. I can play mp3s on linux. I can transfer mp3s from my PC to a laptop or an mp3 player. Hell, I can buy a CD/mp3 player to hook up to my stereo if I want.

    If manufacturs pick up on it I'll be able to the same thing with ogg files. But I don't see the same convenience coming out of formats like wma, liquid audio and the like.

    Sorry but something has got to give and as a consumer I'll expect it to come from the record companies.

  • by Flower ( 31351 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @08:02AM (#79586) Homepage
    My problem has always been that whatever they offer it had better be dirt cheap. I remember seeing some article about a site offering songs for $2.50US. BZZZT. Wrong answer. A dollar is too much. It's coming off of my bandwidth, stored on my hard drive and then if I want to make sure I can keep those files safe I have to purchase a CD-RW and discs.

    Oh, and it isn't CD quality. That alone kills it. Whatever they charge must be lower than what a CD costs. Much lower.

    And I want to know what their copy protection scheme is. I want to be able to download from my PC, transfer it to my laptop or .nap player, or burn it to my newly purchased CD-RW and eventually be able to play those files in my car during those long cross country trips when I pass through bum-f*** Kentucky and all I can get is Bluegrass stations and Baptist ministries.

    And did I mention that I use linux as my desktop at home?

    I buy CDs when I can. I used Napster to get maybe a handful of songs and wasn't enthused. If the record companies want to get a person like me to purchase songs off the Internet they must charge a reasonable price. And from where I'm sitting, even a buck is too much.

  • The most interesting element (to me) of your list is one neither of you directly mentioned -- the switchover to payment systems (not just ours...) that would allow merchants to accept payments as small as you're expecting to pay. I wish that folks could go with a "tipjar" model and just help the artists they like directly, but that's a bit idealistic on my part I guess. People say they want to tip, but tipping an artist requires a bit of effort (and money).

    Music fans are used to paying nothing, but what they don't seem to believe is that with a little voluntary cooperation, artists & fans could completely bypass the RIAA quintopoly (an arm of which has now completely taken over Napster) and have something truly wonderful (for everyone except the RIAA).

  • Another format to crack!
  • I'm sorry if this sounds inflamatory, but does anyone really care? Does anybody still use Napster here? (And I mean, servers run by Napster, Inc.) I dunno, but it's been ages since I've used Napster, and ever since the lawsuits, the blocking of "unofficial clients", the filter-by-name, filter-by-audio-fingerprint, the subscription service and most important - the huge decline in Napster users, who really cares what Napster, Inc. does now?

    Yes, Napster was awesome in it's prime before all the hoopla. It was great because it was the one single point of search that most everybody used. Now, there are dozens of different mp3 / audio / video / media / everything search engines and none is incredibly more useful than the other... because none have such a hugely solid user base than Napster did.

    So, I have a question for everybody here - when you're looking for music online, what do you use? I'm using the opennap servers on napigator (via gnapster).
  • by Xemu ( 50595 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:30AM (#79590) Homepage

    What is this .NAP? MP3 with crypto?

    Actually, yes, Napster have licensed Adobe's most advanced encryption technology. A ".NAP" is a .MP3 where the header is digitally signed so that the artist's name can't be obfuscated and the main data stream is encrypted by XORing each byte with the string 'encrypted'. This is believed to be 100% hack-proof.
  • [cough] monopoly [cough]
  • >Now, back on topic. Any bets on how many days before Napster relaunches that a .nap to .mp3 converter program is released?

    How about... never? Because absolutely no one will use Napster or its proprietary format, so there will be no demand for or interest in a converter program?
  • Score -1 : Frickin' obvious
  • I want to DL music because I can't buy the music I want locally here. I usually import a 8-a dozen CDs a year. When what I want isn't on radio and isn't in the local shops here, you bet your ass I want to hear it somewhere before I buy it. 2 years ago when mp3s were common I DL a couple of songs a week and buy from a dozen different artists. I would try a few songs from new artists and buy their CD if I liked it. 100% of the artists I buy today I had not heard of 3 years ago.

    Now, since mp3 sites are gone from the web and I don't like to use the usenet, irc, or nap type stuff, I don't buy music anymore. There are only about 3-4 artists I like enough to buy CDs w/o having to listen to them. Moreover, I don't know when new CDs are released. Since my music isn't available locally, there are no TV ads, etc telling me something new is available. I have to go out to look for websites for info like that. I don't bother.

    What would allow me to sample more music and buy more CDs? Web based mp3 sites only. I use a modem. I want to SEE info on exactly what I'm DL'ing before spending 30min to get it. Would I try a new format if it were free? No. I'm not going to waste time learning the ins and outs of a new format. If I were that desperate I would be using gnutella now wouldn't I?

    So why am I so lazy that I won't spend a little time to find free music? Because I have a job. I work, I make $. $ to buy CDs. Except there are no CDs I want to buy now, because there's nowhere I can sample any.

  • Their .NET-worth is in the toilet. This is .NOT what they .NEED right .NOW. They will .NEVER get .NEW users this way. I guess the big companies have succeeded again. .NOT good .NEWS.
  • Hmm I use Morpheus all the time, and it's definitely better than Napster, at least to find the music I'm into (triphop, d&b, lounge). On Napster I could hardly ever find any of this kind of music. I tried bearshare a while back and personally wasn't impressed at all. Another program I've been very impressed with is Direct Connect [] although it's mainly for movies, not mp3s.

    I'm also interested to see what Ian Clarke (founder of freenet) is doing with his startup Uprizer []. Clarke has hinted that uprizer will provide some kind of compensation scheme for content producers. He envisions a system where it will become very easy to become a patron. So there could be 200,000 12-year old patrons supporting a band with their pocketmoney. I think that people really don't want to rip off the artists they love. However, in this day and age, there is simply no acceptable legal means of doing so on the internet.

  • Slashdot is basically all yesterdays stories today. It is not a news gathering site, it is a community where people share news they think other people would be interested in. A story is ALWAYS going to be on some other news site first.

    So bugger off.
  • Ever since they blocked all non uptodate clients, I havent been able to connect anyway. I really dont care, I only use opennap and audiogalaxy. (which are staying with mp3 for now)
  • by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:15AM (#79622)
    Users to abandon .NAP for .MP3
  • Do they think Napster users want to share music if they have to pay for it? They just need to bury it and give in. The .nap format is just the final blow to stop the faint pulse.
  • by Tassach ( 137772 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:32AM (#79633)
    while ( horse == dead ) { beat(); }
  • by fetta ( 141344 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:22AM (#79636)
    The real tragedy of Napster is that we may never again have such easy access to the more obscure music that isn't currently "in print." In its heyday, Napster helped introduce me to some old jazz and blues recordings that I would never have been able to find in a record store.

    Unfortunately, the court cases surrounding Napster have poisened the well to such an extent that I doubt that we'll ever see an "all music ever created" service again at any price.
  • by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:22AM (#79638) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot: Yesterdays Register stories, today...
  • by Lizard_King ( 149713 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:29AM (#79641) Journal
    the first person to get their grubby hands on the .nap codec and encode any Metallica album.

    That would be priceless.
  • by sandidge ( 150265 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:24AM (#79642)
    And in other news, the first file available in the .NAP format is one of a fat lady signing.

    RIP Napster, we hardly knew ye.

  • by Pinball Wizard ( 161942 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:45AM (#79645) Homepage Journal
    How many people will pay to use a proprietary format?

    Well, that would be anyone who has ever bought an MP3 player. Or used an MP3 encoder. Legally, you gotta pay Fraunhofer/Thompson [] for every player or encoder.

    I'm amazed they got this far with as strict of a licence they have. Encoders like lame or bladenc are in reality, illegal to use unless you have a licence. So if you run Linux and burn MP3's, its likely you are breaking the law.

    I'm surprised the Free Software community hasn't rallied more around Ogg Vorbis, given the harsh licencing of MP3.

  • How many people will pay to use a proprietary format?
  • by Fat Rat Bastard ( 170520 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:30AM (#79654) Homepage
    I think that all of these subscription models (Napster, Duet, etc) are going to fail miserably. Why? Well MP3 Newswire [] did a great study [] showing the cost of subscribing to thier services. Since most of the music will be time bombed and you're restricted to a finite amount of downloads a month, its actually more expensive to "subscribe" to your favoirite albums than it is to buy 'em. Until they can force folks to use this service its just cheaper to buy the CD or download a ripped song off of Gnutella.

    If you don't have anything nice to say, say it often.

  • ...unless they get a deal with winAmp. Maybe their integrated player will be the ONLY player for music downloaded on Napster. And somehow, it has to be compatible with my hardware player I just spent $300 on.
  • Any others?

    I don't know about actual spying, but KaZaA comes bundled with a SmartTag-like advertising system called "Hot Text". Random keywords get linked to other sites that have (presumably) paid KaZaA money for the privilege. For example, I went to google and the 'jobs' part of 'Cool jobs' had an extra marking on it. Clicking on it give me a small pop-up menu that asked if I wanted to go to either the original hyperlink location or to the hot text link. Selecting the hot text link took me to one of those "find a job"-type sites (Hotjobs, I think. But it was awhile ago.).

  • How many of its former users are going to want to participate in a system where anything they want to share has to be inspected and converted by a central authority?

    None. Or very few. As noted on this thread, bye-bye Napster! Nice knowing ya.

  • I just started using Kazaa [] also known as Morpheus []. It is far more reliable in some ways than napster as it has the ability to d/l from multiple peers at once. I like it for that reason alone but hate it for so many others such as poor documentation, unstable in windows 2k, inability to ban users who abuse d/ling (people can connect to you up to the maxium amount of downloads you set even for one file and hog the bandwidth, oh did I mention no ability to limit the amount of d/ls per person ?), and last but not least all archived files *.zip etcetera are not treated as software in a search or in the in prog organization heriarchy.

    With some serious tweaking by an interested party this protocol [] may have the ass kicking ability to scale beyond "close to a million" users, too bad its proprietary. Don't even think about gnutella doing that unless they ditch backwards compatibility gnutella will be stuck at the 40,000 to 50,000 limit forever.

  • Will the new format work in the current portable MP3 players, or will it require a new player that can decode the format, or worse still a proprietary player?

    No, this definitely will NOT work in your portable. In fact, they will probably make it difficult for your average non-techie to play it anywhere EXCEPT inside the Napster client.

    Yes, that means it won't work in your nice new solid state digital audio player. Yes, that also means I'm not interested.

  • if it is too difficult to encode sound files as .nap's, the few people who still use napster will quickly abandon it.

    Uh, you don't get it. There isn't going to be ANY way to encode your audio to .nap. All .nap files will be official and come from the Napster servers. You can't just encode your own music and then share it under the new system.

  • I think I uninstalled that already but thanks for the reminder.
  • by kstumpf ( 218897 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @08:53AM (#79678)
    Try IRC. Get on Undernet, join #mp3jazzcentral. Download a couple scripts like Autoget and SPR and you essentially have Napster. I serve in this channel, with over 30GB of jazz available.
  • Napster is dead, other client have come up; whatever they do will have no effect on P2P anymore.

    We all know that, and so does Napster. So why are they building a new system?

    To save their own ass; to appease the corporations...The only way Napster can still make some money is by selling itself to a company. Sure the business itself is not going to be profitable, BUT it is obvious that P2P -is- popular, just that corporations need to find a way to manage it to their own benefit.

    (In Napster's POV) If Napster can partner with enough big music companies (ie: BMG) and begin the first commercial P2P system, and get a patent on it, they can still turn a profit in a long run via licensing fees (since we also know that as soon as Big Business finds out how to make money from P2P, they will....

    'nuff said...
  • than the number of people who paid for an open format (CD)

    and we all know where that went
  • by imadork ( 226897 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @09:02AM (#79685) Homepage
    I'm amazed they got this far with as strict of a licence they have. Encoders like lame or bladenc are in reality, illegal to use unless you have a licence. So if you run Linux and burn MP3's, its likely you are breaking the law.

    That's why letting people use their IP for free was the best thing that Thompson could have done.

    Think about it.. people could already play their CD's on their computer, and they could even rip their CD's into wav files. So simply using MP3 encoders does not really add that much value to the average computer user's life. If the encoder wasn't freely available, the user base would be a lot less, and nobody would feel like they're missing out on anything.

    However, Fraunhofer/Thompson has let encoders be freely available, and lots of people have lots of MP3 files. EVERYONE now knows what MP3 is, and wants to listen to their MP3's while jogging. And Thompson is making money on every single piece of MP3 hardware you can buy. Give away the razor (bladeenc) to sell the blades (hardware and commercial software).

    By not suing their user base, they are actually making more money (and having their standard more widely adopted) then if they had "protected their IP more vigorously".

    Everyone who advocates Digital Rights Management could learn a thing or two from their business model.

  • "Now Bearshare is my primary client..."

    Careful...Bearshare has spyware from OnFlow. And have you ever looked at a packet sniffer's logs as Bearshare starts up? {shudder}

  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:35AM (#79694)
    Don't lots of users here claim they only download music for free because they 'only want to pay for a few songs on a CD', and 'there is no other way to download music', and 'the current music distribution system is outdated' ? If so, I would expect that these people should be willing to pay to download music, and it shouldn't matter whether it's in a proprietary format, unless players are not made widely available.

    Because whether or not it is a proprietary format should have no bearing on whether it solves their alleged issues of outdated distribution methods, paying for songs they don't want to pay for, or whatever. In fact, I would expect that users who really want to pay for downloadable music should be largely indifferent as to whether the format is proprietary or not (again, assuming availability of players). Of course, I expect that most users here will NOT pay for a proprietary format, just as I expect most would also not pay for an non-proprietary format, because I strongly suspect the whole Napster/MP3 phenomenon is less about supposed 'civil disobedience' and claimed fair-use, then it is about getting something for nothing.

  • Something you may want to know is that AudioGalaxy installs SpyWare onto your computer.

    Happy Downloading!

  • I had the same problem with Mandrake 8.0... Did some hunting and found the solution... If you, like me, use KDE 2.1, restart into GNOME. Run the shell script... The little window will be full size and let you install the program.

    I restarted back into KDE, and Lime Wire 1.6 works great! Much faster and smoother than the earlier version.
  • if I could swap MP3's like the original Napster.

    LimeWire [] might seem a little like the old napster, but its actually much better/different. Its gnutella, and its cooler than napster. Which isn't saying much, because with shit like ".nap" napster isn't too cool.

  • I think that they got this far because they don't enforce the liscense as much as they could. Sure, if you run Linux and burn MP3's, its likely you are breaking the law. But is anyone going to stop you? No. Hence, from joe linux user's point of view, it makes no difference what the law is. It was probably ilegal to download the file in the first place; burning it is just one more silly law to break.

    And ogg vorbis? With a name that rolls off the tounge like that, I'm sure it'll be a household name in no time. "Hey mommy I want an ogg vorbis player for xmas?" Riight.

  • I've tried bearshare too but I like limewire better. The file-grouping is cool. The fact that its the same program on every machine I use it on (mac/windows/linux) is cool. And when I tried it bearshare wasn't too stable.

    And users discriminating based on client software? Well, if I'm connected to a few thousand hosts anyway and getting hits back on every search I don't really mind.

  • The true danger of Napster was not that it let the masses of people download MP3's for free forever - day one we knew Napster wasn't going to last (being Server-Client based and all). The danger now is that, let's say 99% of Napster users abandon the service now that it's fee based/closed/whatever - now these people wil use other methods - newsgroups, other sharing services, search engines etc. to get their MP3 fix - a fix they could have done without prior to Napster. Napster merely opened the floodgates for the ignorant and previously impatient masses. My favorite analogy is my Born-Again Christian sister who Napstered until the end - now she's moved on to Morpheus. She can't install or upgrade or fix anything on her computer without my help, but she got this file/MP3 sharing thing down pat herself. But take it from someone who has gigabytes of MP3's on CD-R's and has never once used Napster - the MP3's are out there if you want to find them badly enough.

    Also, superior formats don't matter. MP3Pro, WMA, Liquid Audio, etc. - don't even bother. MP3 is free, clear and good enough. People creating new formats are wasting their time - only those who follow the law anyway will use restricted formats.

    Finally, a fee based subscription will never work for the same reason that [] died quickly and Colin Powell will never become President. As much as people (and white people in that last instance) say things like "Sure, I'd pay for PCXL in any format" or "Sure, I'd pay X for a monthly download service" or "Sure, I'd vote for Colin Powell", when it comes right down to it, they won't. Why pay $.99 for an MP3 at [] when I can find it for free elsewhere?


  • by TheWhiteOtaku ( 266508 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:36AM (#79716) Homepage
    I'm sure this will be a big hit among Napster's 5 remaining users. If they had unveiled this in Napster's heyday, I would actually think it could work, but now this is irrelevant, as everyone has moved onto unassailible Gnutella, or will have to after the next round of lawsuits.

  • If you are considering downloading this program (and if your into file sharing I seriously sdvise you to - i've been through a few and this is my favourite), you will get ALOT more mileage if you get a decent serverlist. The default one sucks, and getting a new one in place isnt exactly intuitive. I cant find the links right now, but just google it yourself.

    p.s. WinMx doesnt contain any spyware (yipee!)

    p.p.s I dont work for winmx (honest guv), I just want that critical mass that nap used to have....
  • by Marcus Brody ( 320463 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:23AM (#79723) Homepage
    Who needs napster when you've got this [].
    -supports their own p2p protocol and multiple OpenNap servers, all at the same time. Its one of the few things I reboot into windows for these days (p.s. anyone know of anything as good for linux???).

    Why are the RIAA still hounding Napster when the game has clearly evolved on to the next level?

    Napster is dead, long live OpenNap

    ....(or at least untill one of the P2P protocols proclaims itself king...)
  • What's that about Napster abandoning formats and what not? As I rather foggly remember, Napster had never a format to speak of. The users shared some files, particularly some ending in some extensions, like ".mp3" for example. Format has nothing to do with the service.

    So, has Napster spoke about this change with it's users? Which users, you say? Well that's a fair question.


  • by Dutchmaan ( 442553 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:17AM (#79727) Homepage
    How long will it be before Napster sues another company for copyright infringement?
  • Will the new format work in the current portable MP3 players, or will it require a new player that can decode the format, or worse still a proprietary player?

    Napster is desperate for keeping the big labels off their backs. Too bad they'll have few users if any, now.
  • Let's try to figure out just how much an MP3 is really worth...

    The lowest priced new CD I can think of seeing was 7.99 (At the Drive In, from Grand Royal) we figure this is probably approaching cost. Realize that cost does not mean the price of a CD, we all know that's cheap...cost meaning CD (with printing)/Case/Liner(with printing)/distribution/etc. In fact, we'll assume this is the cost, and that Grand Royal records and ATDI are making NO money off this CD (which is obviously false).

    How many tracks does the average CD have? We'll go with 10, even though I suspect it's closer to 12 or 14. (keep in mind that I'm rounding in favor of the record companies here). This leaves us 79 cents per song. Keep in mind that that is assuming that there is a record company selling a CD at absolutely no profit, and that the record stores are making no profit off it either. So what is a fair price to pay for mp3's? Of napster, I'd say it needs to be much lower...possibly 25-50 cents...after all, you are providing the bandwidth. If a record company (or other service) provides bandwidth, I'd say 75 cents to a dollar. This, to me, seems's less than I spend on the average CD.

    Oh wait, we almost forgot...what if my HD crashes? Back it up on CD's? nope...CD's get scratched, too. What I am willing to spend is one dollar on a song in a format that I can trade across any platform that I might own, and which I can retrieve again should the unthinkable happen. And if I'm paying anything more than about two dollars for this service monthly, it better have the same selection as the "old" napster. Which it won't, because when you charge even a cent you lost 50% of your users. Oh, and if were paying for downloads, I better not be charged unless the download successful, especially on dial-up.

    So, with this reasoning, I'd say that P2P Mp3's are worth about a quarter, and Mp3's off the record companies servers are worth about a dollar.

    So what does a .NAP sound like it's worth? I'll go about 3 cents. And I MIGHT pay about a buck a month membership. But probably not.

  • What is this .NAP? MP3 with crypto?
  • by Unknown Bovine Group ( 462144 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2001 @07:40AM (#79740) Homepage
    In a similar story, Netscape creates proprietary .nscp format to replace .html and clinch a come-from-behind-victory in the browser wars.

    Also in the news: Amiga Q2 gross profits up 40% to $39.50.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein