Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
BLACK FRIDAY DEAL: Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom--A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at $48 with coupon code "BFRIDAY20" ×
Music Media

Napster Clawing Back 265

D Anderson n'Swaart writes: "As the BBC reports in this article, Napster is set to return shortly, as a subscription-based sharing service, a concept facing a less-than-rosy future. The report gives a brief history of Napster, and the current state of the various lawsuits that were brought against it. The briefs: Napster is going to have to fork over a total of around $36M USD, $10M of which is downpayment on future royalties." And whatAnotherAolUser writes that the company "agreed to pay $26 million to settle a copyright lawsuit with songwriters and music publishers, and to make royalty payments to the writers and publishers once it started a fee-based service." Guess it depends where you start counting.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Napster Clawing Back

Comments Filter:
  • why would we want to use it when it there are plenty of free ones there?

    and it is easy enough to write your own if all the free ones disappear?
    • Re:so... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jedwards ( 135260 )
      You need the volume of users.
      You can write your own file sharing app, but if no one else uses it then you're sharing with yourself.
      Napster must be hoping that the brand name will lead to enough people using the service that they will find what they want.
      • Re:so... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NonSequor ( 230139 )
        Does Napster even have the volume of users it needs any more? Certainly almost everyone has gone to other services by now.
        • Re:so... (Score:2, Informative)

          by Magumbo ( 414471 )
          I still use gnapster and download plenty of music via opennap servers. Admittedly, the volume isn't what it once was, but you you can still find an awful lot of music.
          • Me too. But what worries me is that, given how easy these things are to find-- and the fact that they need to be easy to find in order to be useful (i.e. not "sharing with yourself"), that once the RIAA is done screwing with Napster and passing the SSSCA that they will go after people hosting Open Nap servers and the like.

            Not that any of this will stop file sharing. I can fit several CDs worth of music on a CD-R as Ogg Vorbis or mp3. In the process of ripping my CDs I get a track listing. I can easily create a catalog for friends to pick and choose from, and we trade CD-Rs via mail or in person.
      • my mom used to yell at me for sharing with myself.

        seriously though, there are any number of clients now to any number of services, all free, that I can get just about anything I want from it. granted, anything I want is pretty minor. I don't look for entire programs and such. but one can find plenty of porn, and plenty of music.

        with LimeWire, the only thing two problems I ever had (other than the older client crashing all the time) were 1) I wanted a song that was obscure ('speeding motorcycle' sung by what sounded to be a drunken retarded person into a radio statio via a long distance phone call from a pay phone - hard to find, but a great song - still can't get it, I know they played it on the radio station [williams.edu] back in college), and 2)... I'm not sure I recall what 2 was... oh yeah (stream of consciousness post) it is annoying when they are behind firewalls and you can't get to the stuff - but those are easy enough to see which are which, they usually have IP addresses similar to my own machines which sit behind a linksys router.

        yeah. so there.
    • Re:so... (Score:2, Funny)

      by damiam ( 409504 )
      Because it's legal.
  • Never (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by alen ( 225700 )
    will I pay for music I can steal somewhere else.
    • How wonderful. So if they ever shut down enough of the good online file sharing systems, making life less convienent for the rest of us, you'll just go back to slicing the anti-theft tags of CDs at your local record store.
  • who? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by night_flyer ( 453866 )
    who is this Napster of which you speak? If you are referring to the old file sharing program it has long since been replaced by better models
  • around $36M USD, $10M of which is downpayment on future royalties.
    Too bad for Jason, no champagne for him.
  • And an added note... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Masem ( 1171 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:50PM (#2349374)
    Note that the $26 million settlement is only with publishers and songwriters; there is still the distributers (aka RIAA) that have ligitigation against Napster that must be overcome before Napster can continue with the subscription service.
  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:52PM (#2349385) Homepage
    producing the Pacer again
  • by JustinLong ( 524281 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:52PM (#2349386) Homepage
    Who will pay for a subscription to Napster when there are a multitude of other free services around - like Gnutella, for example? Unless and until Napster either (a) has unique content which cannot be obtained anywhere else, (b) has some kind of value-added service that adds value to content readily available elsewhere, or (c) other services are shut down, won't a subscription-based service be a losing proposition?
    • by Sir_Real ( 179104 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:57PM (#2349423)
      Option b could be the only possible money maker for them. Any unique content found on Napster will cease being unique to Napster moments after it's published. C. is right out, since it's difficult to shut down everyone's computer... I can't think of any kind of value-added service that they could apply to their content to make me want to pay, aside from better indexing, organization, and cross referencing (a la audio galaxy).

      They're screwed.
      • by JustinLong ( 524281 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:00PM (#2349448) Homepage
        Possibly user-added ratings of some kind...? User commentary, something that would create a real community around the music. Or, some kind of mechanism for recommending music that you would like. For example, I like a particular style of Irish music. If Napster could come up with a way of RECOMMENDING music to me based on one particular song or set of songs, or perhaps based on the fact that I share certain likes with other people, that would be a worthwhile service. Then napster wouldn't be a file-sharing system... it would be a file-recommendation system... and with millions of files out there, a recommendation system would be worth its weight in gold. Its value would increase with every additional person in the system, too...
        • by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:51PM (#2349783)
          Possibly user-added ratings of some kind...? User commentary, something that would create a real community around the music. Or, some kind of mechanism for recommending music that you would like. For example, I like a particular style of Irish music. If Napster could come up with a way of RECOMMENDING music to me based on one particular song or set of songs, or perhaps based on the fact that I share certain likes with other people, that would be a worthwhile service. Then napster wouldn't be a file-sharing system... it would be a file-recommendation system... and with millions of files out there, a recommendation system would be worth its weight in gold. Its value would increase with every additional person in the system, too...

          Possibly RIAA-added ratings of some kind. RIAA commentary, something that would create a fake community around the music. Or some kind of mechanism for recommending the music that the RIAA would like you to buy and upload. For example, I like this particular profitable music. If Napster could come up with a way of FORCING music on me based on one particular database or set of demographics, or perhaps based on surveillance of me and other people, that would be a profitable service. Then napster wouldn't be a file-sharing system... it would be a music-marketing system... and with millions of user-provided files out there, a marketing system worth its weight in gold. Its value would increase with every additional prisioner of the system too.
    • Gnutella seems to be slowly grinding itself into the floor...

      My last few searches turned up nada....
    • Hey,

      some kind of value-added service

      They could offer a 'Resume from other people' feature. Just have a 'start downloading at time x' function, convert the MP3s to waveforms, join the two files, and recompress. There are some nice algorithms out there to reduce lossage due to recompressing... I for one would really like such a feature.

      Thinks like this wouldn't be easy, but they would be good.

      Michael
      • Who will pay for a subscription to Napster when there are a multitude of other free services around - like Gnutella, for example

      Specifically, who will pay money to be granted the priveledge of serving up content? If I serve up more than I pull down over gnutella (which I do), why am I going to pay Napster to be allowed to do that for them?

      Napster need me a lot more than I need them. I wonder if they realise that yet?

  • What if Napster's subscription service never makes if off the ground due to "technical" difficulties. Do they still pay the $26 million?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Napster has gotten its name dragged through the mud by just about everyone. The music industry hates it because it's name is synonymous with free downloading of MP3s. Users hate it because the filters have all but destoryed its usefulness. The one thing it has is a brand name -- everyone knows Napster, and they know what it represents. Even if they use a different program for downloading MP3s now, most people still use "Napster" to refer to a generic file sharing program.
  • by SmileyBen ( 56580 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:54PM (#2349405) Homepage
    So let's get this straight. In return for the money you pay to Napster, they're going to give you a catalogue of mp3s you can download, right...?

    Nope, they're still going to let USERS, paying for the system provide the actual files - so the users will be providing the service. Napster will just be getting lots of money (at least that's what they want) for being a middle man.

    Can anyone say 'pimp'?
    • Well... starting up your own indie-Napster is certainly possible but will be sued into the ground as soon as it becomes more than a "Just-us-buddies" service. I wouldn't say Napster is the pimp, rather they're the whore. They will charge users, give a good chunk of that money to the RIAA and other fuckheads, then spend what's left on angel dust to help cope with the guilt.

      The big problem, as we all know, is that Napster is centralized. Centralized means there's just one weak point to smash (with lawyers) and everything comes down fast and hard.
    • you mean, what you're saying then, is that I can still trade files with whomever I choose, but if I do it through napster's servers, I have to pay? and this does what to end piracy? what's that you say? nothing? you mean the RIAA is only going along with this for the MONEY? THOSE DASTARDS!!!! THEY LIED TO US!!!!

      now THAT'S sarcasm...
    • Here is an idea how this model might work:
      Say you charge 5-10$ each user to ise the service and download stuff. Now how about if you create a rewards program. Here is the explanation.
      - If you share many songs and if people download your songs, you get a discount from your monthly fee depending on the bandwidth you contributed. Rewards can depend on the number of songs, quality, diversity, etc. If you are a good community member, you end up using the service for free. This should attract students at dormitories since they don't pay for bandwidth anyway.

  • For the record industry to find out that a pay for play music service has no place on the Internet: a place where I can go to Morpheus and be downloading them for free within a few minutes.

    Why is Napster even attempting this? It's a complete waste fo time and money. It's going to be a dismal failure. I hope the RIAA takes note of this and starts looking for REAL solutions to the "problem."
  • If they were smart, they would have called it a day and declared bankruptcy. As long as there is free music out there, I don't see them finding $26 million worth of demand for subscriptions.
  • Give em some credit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:57PM (#2349417)
    At least they didn't take the typical dot-com role and just close shop.

    A year ago I would have said nobody will pay for that service. But now I think enough time has elapsed and enough other free services have gone under, that they maybe be able to get a user base going again.

    I'm frustrated enough right now with the dot-coms and the ever slowing gnutella network, that I may just pry my wallet open to get something I want, when I want it, without having to pay for stuff I don't want.
    • by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:27PM (#2349638)
      ...IF I had some kind of guarantee that there will be songs available. If Napster provided the songs to download, that'd be one thing. Relying on the selflessness of others, however, is not a winning service.
      • by twitter ( 104583 )
        If Napster provided the songs to download, that'd be one thing. Relying on the selflessness of others, however, is not a winning service.

        Spartan and well put, but subject to misinterpretation.

        Are they still planning to rent out their Luser's hard drives? That would be as lame as can be, pay someone to use your equipment without even letting people post what they want. Sorry, no sale. I can't imagine the once flourishing community of enthusiastic volunteers bending to this kind of deal. They will get around this.

        All good cons depend on the greed of their victims. Volunteers don't care one way or another. You can tell the difference by the strings attatched.

      • A year ago I would have said nobody will pay for that service. But now I think enough time has elapsed and enough other free services have gone under, that they maybe be able to get a user base going again

      Very possibly, but I can see one major flaw with that argument. Napster will be reliant on people with fast broadband connections paying it money for the priveledge of serving content.

      Now, if I'm primarily serving content (which I am), am I going to do it over a free network like gnutella (which I do), or am I going to pay Napster to be allowed to do it for them, when I know (or suspect) that most of the uploads will be to leechers?

      For me, it's a no brainer.

      • Broadband is not required. Back when Napster was in full swing and I only have a 56k modem, I still managed to download about 500 128kbps+ songs in a few months. Queue em up and let it go all night.

        Gnutella is pretty bad right now regardless of which client you use. If I'm on a 56k connection and I'm trying to download an MP3, I usually get somewhere in the range of "busy" to "2.1kbps". The fact that your also getting bombarded with everybody elses search requests doesn't help the connection out. Seriously, Gnutella requires that EVERYONE have broadband, on Napster it's just a convenience.
          • Back when Napster was in full swing and I only have a 56k modem, I still managed to download about 500 128kbps+ songs in a few months

          Go back and read what I wrote. Napster is reliant on having plenty of fast, always on broadband connections uploading content. Who did you think was serving those tracks to you? Other modem users?

          I'm hoping that they realise that and have some financial distinction between uploaders and downloaders. This isn't a flame or a criticism, I used Napster back when I had a diallup, and completely understand that the only practical way to use it is to turn off sharing.

          • You're right, thinking back my download attempts always started with the people that listed themselves as T1. I probably only got a few songs from other modem users, just because it was an oddball track.

            I guess I'm somewhat assuming that when Napster goes commercial, they'll be hosting the songs on their server.
              • I guess I'm somewhat assuming that when Napster goes commercial, they'll be hosting the songs on their server.

              Frankly, I don't see how else they can do it. Also, I assume they'll need a free-for-all month to get everyone back on, but I can't see how even that will be workable if people just jump on to leech like frenzied weasels for a month.

              • If they did do a freebie to get people back on, then they'd need to give away a certain number of songs away for free, otherwise the college kids will just suck enough down in 1 month, to keep them content for another year.
  • by Akito Tenkawa ( 307889 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:57PM (#2349418)
    Like the aging rock star attempting make a comeback, Napster finds itself no longer the front-running trend-setter that it used to be...

    ...Rather it is now the aging fossil trying desperately to re-capture that one shining moment in the sun that it once enjoyed. And it is finding that the adoring fans that once chanted its name have since moved on and have not looked back since. But still, it must try, for it has to know.

      • Like the aging rock star attempting make a comeback, Napster finds itself no longer the front-running trend-setter that it used to be

      Oh my god... "Hey kids, we're on your side, party on, we're down and, er, jiggly wiv dat, but you still have to pay us money" ... it's true... you always become the thing you hate... they've become... Metallica!

  • by weslocke ( 240386 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:57PM (#2349426)
    At some point, shouldn't we just look at an organization like Napster and just say "Let it die, already."

    Napster had already become little more than a joke without it being a pay service, now to add a monthly fee onto that is more insult than anything.

    If it were still in its original form, sure... it'd be a great success, and tons of people would subscribe. But with it's currently mangled useability? I can't see it happening.

    Dammit Sean, just write something else.
  • Morpheus... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:58PM (#2349427)
    When I decided I wanted to watch Excel Saga fansubs, I found the early episodes (1-9) on Morpheus.

    When I was looking for the LOTR trailer this morning, I found it on Morpheus.

    If it works *nearly* that good for Audio files (And yes, you can share OGG's with it), then it has Napster beat hands down. It even appears to be free of the spyware that infests the other Kazzaa clients.
    • Re:Morpheus... (Score:5, Informative)

      by wurp ( 51446 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:30PM (#2349647) Homepage
      As reynaert pointed out [slashdot.org], there is also an open source client (called giFT) [sourceforge.net] for FastTrack, the protocol that Kazaa/Morpheus/Grokster use.

      I'm reposting it since reynaert gave a bad link to it ;)

      I haven't tried out giFT yet, but I use Kazaa occasionally, and the number of files and users on the network is astounding (~half million!) You can also regularly find movies on FastTrack that are still in theaters, but don't tell anyone you heard it from me ;)
      • I set up a giFT server (Check my sig) and couldn't be happier with it.
        The CGI doesn't do downloads from multiple sites, but I may modify it.
        I did a quick hack to change the look and to filter out VBS, EXE, EML and other obvious virus files. It works great and has the added benefit of being very open.

        Since Fast Track uses HTTP for transport, you can also use other tools. The other day, I found a user who had 88 great songs and the connection was excellent for my 64K isdn. I just opened a terminal and did a 'wget -R' on his address and port number. 15 hours later, I had all 88 songs.

        I'll make my mods to the CGI available if anyone's interested. (Maybe even the logo I drew...)
        Cheers,
        Jim in Tokyo
  • My $0.02 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:59PM (#2349438) Homepage Journal
    We hear the argument "pay the musician directly" a lot around here, but there is an obvious problem with that: Nobody would buy, copy, or download a single Briney Spears song if the record label did not

    1: Hire studio rats to program the synth-pop music she sings over.
    2: Hire a producer and recording engineer team able to make a child singer sound "sexy"
    3: Produce expensive videos that wave Ms. Spears's two most obvious selling points in front of the camera.
    4: Get it played on the radio (in this case, her records come from Disney, who is a top-5 player in almost every radio market)

    To suggest that Ms. Spears is somehow entitled to 100% (or even more than a small percentage) of the revenue generated by her "art" is to ignore who is doing all the work.

    The answer is obvious: Ignore major label music entirely. Turn off the radio, stop watching MTV, and allow yourself to lose touch with popular culture. (People are supposed to do that when they start growing up, anyway.)

    The truth is, it has already started happening. Concert attendance has been plumetting over the last 10 years, because nobody seriously thinks any band really matters anymore. The biggest draws are leftover bands from the era when people actually cared (like U2). It seems to me that most people no longer consider their favorite music to be an integral part of their identity the way they did in the past. While the latest release from Weezer might be mildly entertaining, nobody is going to worship them the way throngs of stoners once went apeshit over Led Zeppelin; nobody is going to follow them from city to city the way caravans followed the Grateful Dead. Rock n Roll has become a dead religion.

    This year, I heard that a band called "Destiny's Child" won a bunch of awards. From the TV blub, they look kind of cute, and seem to be a band that sings shopworn 3-part harmonies over shopworn hip-hop beats. At the time, it occurred to me that I have not heard more than a 20-second blip from any of their songs. So tell me, fellow Slashbots, am I really missing anything by ignoring these teen divas and listening to Bethoven's 7th Symphony during my drive home?

    • Re:My $0.02 (Score:4, Funny)

      by YouAreFatMan ( 470882 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:32PM (#2349662) Homepage
      So tell me, fellow Slashbots, am I really missing anything by ignoring these teen divas and listening to Bethoven's 7th Symphony during my drive home?

      No, you're not missing anything, but poor Beethoven hasn't seen one dime since Napster wrecked the late 18th-century music market. For how many more centuries will we allow his music to be just given away?

    • Re:My $0.02 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Stiletto ( 12066 )

      Pay the musician directly!

      This hurts the no-talents (Spears, etc.) that are basically ENGINEERED by media execs, and require a massive team of techies to put up the illusion of musical talent.

      Real musicians that play in front of real people who appreciate their real talent should have no problem with mp3's. People still pay to experience live music.

      I wish MY favorite bands would adopt the "play in real life" spirit that these other guys have. Unfortunately, I just don't dig on the Greatful Dead's or Phish's particular musical style, and they seem like the only ones that do consistant touring.

      • Re:My $0.02 (Score:2, Informative)

        by king_ ( 143380 )
        Sorry to rain on your parade but...

        Phish isnt on tour anymore,
        And the Greatful Dead kinda stopped touring since the big Garcia died in the early 90s, but they have toured since with different frontmen but its not the same

        BUT! There are a HELL of a lot of really really really talented musicians of all genres that constantly tour. Especially within the indie labels.
      • Please don't use the word "engineering" with respect to whatever it is the recording companies do with Ms. Spears and her ilk. Engineering takes intellect and talent. Whatever it is that they do just takes money, and a gullible audience.

        Thanks for your consideration. : )
        • Re:My $0.02 (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
          • Please don't use the word "engineering" with respect to whatever it is the recording companies do with Ms. Spears

          Hang on, have you seen a live closeup of Ms Spears recently? She's badly sun damaged and already sagging, and is trembling right on the brink of reverting to pure trailer trash. I'd say that cleaning her up and making her look even halfway perky in a video is a feat of engineering.

    • Re:My $0.02 (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jeremi ( 14640 )
      We hear the argument "pay the musician directly" a lot around here, but there is an obvious problem with that: Nobody would buy, copy, or download a single Briney Spears song


      And how is this a problem, exactly? ;^)

    • Re:My $0.02 (Score:3, Interesting)

      So Britney would need the help of the record labels, and she would pay them for all the services you mention. Then her fans would pay her directly.

      Or, the record label would evaluate her, as they do now, and sign her to a contract, as they do now. They would mix up her music and promote it and all that, and the fans would pay her directly, and then, as stipulated in her contract, she would give the labels their cut.

      What's the problem?
    • Re:My $0.02 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by poemofatic ( 322501 )

      You are missing a great deal. That's ok, though, since 19th Century music is pretty good. So is painting, and you need not venture out into the world of Kokoschka and Chagall if you don't want to.

      I once asked a musician friend of mine whether he kept up with the newer stuff (he was in his early thirties at the time, circa 1995). He said yes, that it required more work as he got older, but that he still found enough gems to make it worthwhile. He said that recently -- remember this was 5 yrs ago - he "discovered" Radiohead's The Bends, Talk-Talk's laughingstock, and Girls Against Boy's Venus Luxor No. 9, Baby. At the time, I was too broke to take a chance on unknown CD's, but if Napster would have been around, I could have enjoyed these bands for an even longer time.

      Perhaps you should be glad for Napster and it's successors. They make the task of discovering new music easier for those of us who are now getting older. I know that it, as well as gnutella, has certainly added great pleasure to my life.

      This is what the record companies didn't count on. As we gaze at Napster's latest thrashing about, let's remember that it wasn't "selfishness" or "criminal hacking" which gave us file sharing. It was sheer love of music.

    • 1: Hire studio rats to program the synth-pop music she sings over.

      2: Hire a producer and recording engineer team able to make a child singer sound "sexy"

      3: Produce expensive videos that wave Ms. Spears's two most obvious selling points in front of the camera.

      4: Get it played on the radio (in this case, her records come from Disney, who is a top-5 player in almost every radio market)

      1 and 2 get union wages today, and will get union wages tomorow no matter who pays them for their services.

      3 and 4 are leaches and only make a living due to the disgusting control of music production, distribution, and broadcast the RIAA has. Barf. I got sick of buying my culture from those losers, so I stoped doing it.

    • Concert attendance has been plumetting over the last 10 years...

      I know you have'nt tried (and neither have I, nor 90% of people who visit this site), but if you had tried to get concert tickets to any show Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney, etc. played in the past 2 years, you would realize how sadly untrue this statement,and most fof your arguement, is. People (read: teenagers) flock to pop culture like moths to a flame. And guess what... Teenagers and young 20-somethings drive concert sales, not 30-40 year olds reminicing about "times gone by".

          • Concert attendance has been plumetting over the last 10 years...
          if you had tried to get concert tickets to any show Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney, etc. played in the past 2 years, you would realize how sadly untrue this statement is

        OK, ten seconds of seaching found this article [media-awareness.ca] that reckons that concert spending dropped in Canada between 1986 and 1996. Let me take a wild guess that we're going to fewer but bigger concerts rather than more but smaller ones.

        Perhaps you could spend ten seconds coming up with more recent figures to back up your counter argument?

        • we're going to fewer but bigger concerts rather than more but smaller ones.


          What you just said supports my arguement fully. What are you talking about? I never said anything about going to MORE conerts, I'm trying to point out that the concert scene isn't dying, as you seem to think, its changing... More jumbo-blockbuster-teeny-pop concerts, that make tons of money.

    • So tell me, fellow Slashbots, am I really missing anything by ignoring these teen divas and listening to Bethoven's 7th Symphony during my drive home?

      Well, if ancient classical is all you listen to, then yes, you're missing something. Pop+Classical != all music. Go get Blind Guardian's "Nightfall in Middle Earth" or Nevermore's "Dreaming Neon Black" or Death's "Sound of Perseverance" and you'll be scraping that jaw off the floor. Some of the most talented musicians who ever lived, have recorded stuff in just the last few years.

      • a band called "Destiny's Child" won a bunch of awards. From the TV blub, they look kind of cute

      They are cute, and they stay that way by booting out their oldest member and recruiting a younger facsimile every few months. This is a good example of where even FairTunes might have a problem - who does the money go to in a band that changes its lineup more often than it's G-strings?

    • am I really missing anything by ignoring these teen divas and listening to Bethoven's 7th Symphony during my drive home?

      As everybody who has viddied "A Clockwork Orange" knows, Ludwig Van brings you to serious acts of ultraviolence.
  • by BIGJIMSLATE ( 314762 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:59PM (#2349439)
    ...I'd pay for something like Napster. Really.

    Problem is, others don't seem like they will. Napster, as well as any P2P software is completely dependant on the people who USE and SHARE the stuff. So, I'd be hesitant to sign up until I knew there were plenty of people who were already subscribed (and dial-up'ers don't count). I'm sure others are thinking the same thing, they don't want to pay for a service that only 200 people would use, but they're not willing to sign up until there are more people. So Napster doesn't get people to sign up because...people havn't signed up. Kinda makes it hard for them to get back on their feet, but that's the reality of it.

    So...if enough people get the ball rolling, then this could be good for them. If not...then who knows.

    Now, here's my question. If you are PAYING Napster to use their software, and they are PAYING the RIAA royalties, does this finally make it "legal" in their eyes? Can a college/isp/company/etc fire/kick off/expell someone for downloading MP3's anymore if they're doing it through this system? Are ISP's still going to monitor my usage to see if I've downloaded any MP3's (I just hate that people label an audio codec automatically as something illegal, instead of its possibly content), and send me one of those warnings?
    • Can a college/isp/company/etc fire/kick off/expell someone for downloading MP3's anymore if they're doing it through this system?

      Yes ... I believe the main complaints from colleges etc. about Napster were the amount of data being transferred, not the legality of the data.
    • others don't seem like they will.

      Not if they use some crappy-ass proprietary copy=protected .NAP format. Forget it! MP3 is the standard, and if they can't use it, they should do the honorable thing, sell their t-shirts and go home.

    • ...I'd pay for something like Napster. Really

      Do what I've been doing for a while: pay for Usenet. Sign up with Giganews or Supernews, etc.
      Go to alt.binaries.sound.mp3.requests.
      Ask for some stuff.

      Or what I do: just scroll through every other day and take a chance. I've found some great stuff I'd never considered buying before, and a lot of great stuff I'd never even heard of. And you don't even HAVE to share.

      Granted, most folks liked Crapster because you could just do a search for "Metalica" (sic) and get anything you wanted, but I much prefer the random download take a chance ethos of Usenet.

      But that's just me.

      • I'd be hesitant to sign up until I knew there were plenty of people who were already subscribed

      Yup. Surely they'll open with a free-for-all month to get the numbers back.

      • and dial-up'ers don't count

      Sadly, I agree. I'm sure that there are plenty of dialup users who serve files (thank, guys), but I'm also sure that the majority only leech. (hint: if this doesn't apply to you, then I'm not talking about you, and you needn't flame me)

      It really does beg the question that if I'm serving files over my cable modem, and Napster are charging people to find those files, why aren't I getting a cut? Yes, my payback is to get files from other servers, but shouldn't I at least get a discounted service?

      If my choice is freely sharing files over gnutella, or paying to be allowed to share files over Napster, I know which one I'll be doing.

    • Can a college/isp/company/etc fire/kick off/expell someone for downloading MP3's anymore if they're doing it through this system?

      I imagine that your employment contract may have some nitpicky clause about expecting you to work rather that download music during working hours with company-provided resources, regardless of whether it's illegal or not. (he says, posting to /. in the middle of the afternoon with a company-provided net connection)

      [even more OT: WTF is up with Slashdot's posting code lately? Several times in the last few days I've had the stupid thing dump my post compalaining about 'formkeys', and then upon going back to re-submit, it's throw away the text... bleh]
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:59PM (#2349442)
    Nobody cares about Napster. The only thing anyone cares about is what Napster can do for them. Some of us cared about Napster because it allowed us to quickly and easily download music *before* addressing concerns of money or morality. Some of us cared about Napster because (before they aborted the lawsuit and "settled") we thought Napster would be an excellent test case in establishing that providing tools and directory services that can be used for intellectual property theft is totally, totally legal unless you yourself are directly stealing intellectual property. Neither of those things apply anymore to Napster.

    Therefore, nobody cares. In order to get on the new napster, you'll have to download a totally new client; it's about as much trouble to do that as it is to download Morpheus.

    If someone comes out with a service that contains the entire RIAA catalog, and i can pay an hourly fee and get whatever music i want at a high quality (not random lofi Xing rips like you got on the old napster), i'll be interested. Napster probably isn't providing that. Napster is definitely not providing what they used to provide. Napster has no place in our hearts and we feel no sense of obligation to them, as from day one they have acted as nothing but shifty opportunists, and the service and file sharing app they intially provided was something that could be written by almost anybody with a modicrum of understanding of the MFCs and TCP sockets.

    So napster's not dead yet. Neither is 3D0. OK. So what?
  • Not only will many artists still be making sure they're not on napster, but napster will fail once again due to the fact while it'll be a paid only music software, while software such as audiogalaxy [audiogalaxy.com] and software that allows downloads of files and videos and all that, such as morpheus [musiccity.com] are now reigning all popular.

    However, now that the recording companies are able to make a profit out of napster, perhaps they'll pursue morpheus, audiogalaxy and all these other companies to make sure that napster is unrivaled.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    by burning their office buildings to the ground.....oops, i forgot it's not cool to say that anymore with all the terrorist shit that happened. okay, how about spray their buildings with liquid nitrogen?
  • Not necessary doomed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by reynaert ( 264437 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:09PM (#2349517)
    The "Napster" name is still very well know. If you say "LimeWire" or "Morpheus", most people have no clue what you're talking about. Say "Napster" and everybody knows it's about getting music. In the popular press, these terms are synonyms.

    When there's an agreement, it will be with a big artictle in every computer-related publication. It will most likely even be on the TV news. All saying "Napster/music downloading is now legal".

    Napster will start a mass marketing campain. Paying computer magazines and ISPs to include their software on their CDs. They probably won't have problems with including it anyway, as it'd be legal. Combine that with paid-for nice reviews, and banners and the usual stuff, and you'd be suprised how quick the comeback of Napster can be. Even as a paid service.
  • my $.02 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I would consider paying if:
    1. It were significantly cheaper than buying a cd. Proposals I have seen make the dollar-figure for buying an album one song at a time over the internet something like 10x as expensive as buying a CD.
    2. If I could get stuff that I can't find in a store. This requires either a massive database of proprietary songs or a file sharing user-base at least as big as Napster's at its peak. Currently gnutella offers only about equal the selection of my local record store.

    These are the practical things that would catch the attention of Joe Consumer.

  • The days of an easy-to-use fast mp3 search program are gone and Napster went right along with it, thank you RIAA.

    Now I use Morpheus [musiccity.com]. Works great and I can get pr0n with it too!

  • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:21PM (#2349586) Homepage
    From the BBC article:

    Under the NMPA settlement proposal, Napster would pay $26m for all previous unauthorised music that has been swapped using its software, as well as a further $10m in down payment on future royalties.


    Does this mean that Napster has just agreed to pay the royalties on all the songs I've downloaded? Gee, thanks! What a swell bunch of guys!

  • So what copyright's did Napster break? Did they go out of there way and copy someone else's protected material, or did they do nothing more than make it possible for millions of users to redistribute copyrighted material.

    So if we can sue Napster for make a vehicle withwhich one can break the law, can we sue Smith & Wesson for several thousand homicides in America?

    This bothers me.
  • I have to admint to using Napster regulalry for months downloading and allowing ohers to upload well over 3000 titles, many I ripped myself and others that I got from other Napster users, however none of them are even close to CD quality some of them are partial chunks -o- songs that in general only gave me an idea of whether I wanted to go buy the damn CD or not!
    That Napster should now have to pay 36 Million for what I already paid for in most cases and cannot even use with a reasonable level of sound quality in all cases, should be a CRIME!
    Napster helps sell millions worth of CDs and pays the Music industry for that service!
    What a rip off.. I am almost sorry I ever used the service now.
  • Dot Nap (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cow_licker ( 172474 )
    The new version of Napster will not be using MP3's, it will be using a new proprietary format called .NAP. This will of course include all the rights management feature that you know and love. Why would anyone use this? I have no idea.

    As an aside, a service that I would be willing to pay for is My.MP3.com. I loved that service when it was fully operations with ALL my cd's. Since a lot of my CD's have been removed and that it randomly asked to put the cd's in again I find it useless.

    I own over 200 CD's and I bought quite a few from listening to music I found off bearshare (and previously Napster). Why don't they get it?
      • Napster will not be using MP3's, it will be using a new proprietary format called .NAP

      > cp sandman.mp3 sandman.nap

      > Napster2&

  • by coldmist ( 154493 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:39PM (#2349697) Homepage
    If I'm going to pay for it (which I would), I want guaranteed quality of both audio encoding (ie 128K encoding from CD source, not 64K FM radio junk) and bandwidth.

    I am not going to pay for a service that still depends on the user's providing questionable files over 56k modems or even cable modems/ADSL.

    So, what Napster would have to do is have a master .mp3 list that you could choose and download, from their server, from verified mp3 files.

    Now that's a service that I would pay for.
  • People used napster because it was free, now with gnut becoming more stable we don't need it anymore. It was a fresh idea but it wasn't meant to last. We all know that violated the "artist's" copyright (and "stealing" the 12 cents they get per album) is illegal, with napster the riaa has someone to target and you saw what happened. Now with NSA backdoors, hacking being considered terrorism, and what have you its more important then ever to develope more reliable p2p technologies. Make it harder for the government to stop these things. Can't we go back to the days before napster when we traded mp3s with people with people we meet over mirc?
      • We all know that violated the "artist's" copyright

      Then we knew shit. Name me ten artists that retain copyright on their music rather than selling it to their label.

      • Can't we go back to the days before napster when we traded mp3s with people with people we meet over mirc?

      Nothing is stopping us, other than we've gotten used to doing it the easy way.

  • Tool vs. the network (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shuffle40 ( 520862 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:58PM (#2349837)
    I think it is important to distinguish between the file sharing application and the network that it serves. Napster's interface was so so, but the network beneath it was great! Tons of .mp3's due to pure volume of usage. Some of the gnutella tools are great in their interface (way better than napster, IMAOO) but the underlying network just doesn't have as many users as Napster did. Napster was in the press every day. Hell, I had uncles and aunts that have never used a computer calling me up and advising they were using it! It was simple, simple is bliss for 95% of the PC population. My point? Free is better (gnutella), but lacks the organization of a for-profit model. Hmmm, sounds like a very common thread around here...
  • Did I miss the Napster IPO or something? Where are they going to get these huge sums of money to pay off these fines? I mean really. I see Napster agreeing to pay huge amounts of cash out to various people to settle all of the lawsuits. To date, they haven't collected any money from their users. Did they really get that much money from private investors? Are the investors really stupid enough to keep pouring money down this sinkhole? You would have thought that the bottom dropping out of the dot.com business would have brought these guys to their senses, but I guess not. I propose that all future Napster payout stories get filed under the "More Money Than Brains" department.
  • by Perianwyr Stormcrow ( 157913 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @06:00PM (#2350169) Homepage
    It was a new, and refreshing phenomenon. Back when Napster was a thrice a day Slashdot phenomenon, I couldn't block the whole Music category because I liked to hear about non-Napster related music things. Not that there were many, but a blanket Jon Katz style ban wasn't appropriate.

    Now that it's rising from the grave, can we make a special "Napster" category so I never have to hear another goddamn thing about this particular silly company again? I'd love to hear stuff about filesharing and music licenses, but Napster's death and resurrection do not interest me.
  • by Cylix ( 55374 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @07:02PM (#2350415) Homepage Journal
    OK...

    The only selling point.... The music we would download from napster would be completely legit downloads. No worries about wrong doing right?

    Now for the nagative side of things...

    First off, to keep everyone from distributing these nifty little music files it will most likely come in a protected propietary format. To play you must and most definately will pay. Napster will play it and maybe media player. Remember way back when... there was an article about napster licensing/writing some protected media format. Perhaps someone else can dig up the article.

    Assumming they go for a protected media format(now dubbed pmf) there will most likely be a windows only client. I really hate OS lockins. Especially since I stream my mp3's to my workstations. (icecast/mp3) This pmf will probably not work with your existing mp3 player periphreals. (No more music for the car)

    Just as everyone has pointed out. We are again likely to see a peer to peer network sharing. You have to pay to share your music.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but these assumptions are based from logical guesses (human nature/greed).

      • to keep everyone from distributing these nifty little music files it will most likely come in a protected propietary format (dubbed pmf)

      > mv sandman.mp3 sandman.pmf

      > Napster2&

      They're going to verify the format of all content shared over the network?

      • This is complete guesswork, but here are my thoughts.

        There are different ways of doing it. Like actually requiring the user rip it from cd first. Possibly, re-encode existing mp3's as they are sent out. So, joe blow sends out blah.mp3, but the person on the other end of the share gets blah.pmf. So now it cannot be listened to except in the napster client and cannot be distributed unless it was within the napster client. (embedded tags could say its ok for joe blow to play this, but none other)

        Give it your best guess, anything you come up with is probably possible and high crackable.
  • by davidarcher2000 ( 515833 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [rehcrad]> on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @07:05PM (#2350430)
    IMHO, this Napster "pay-per-month" subscription model has very little chance of commercial success for several reasons.

    1) The user base has already migrated to better networks (i.e. Kazaa, Morpheus, etc). The content available through these networks is free (as in beer) so it really makes no sense why everyone would "jump" back on Napster to pay for this very same content.

    2) The whole idea of community and sharing is what made Napster popular. You were (by default in the software) sharing your music files with others in exchange for getting music files from them. The users provide the bandwidth, the storage, and the content. What exactly Napster would be providing in this "new business model", besides a simple directory service, is beyond me. Is Napster going to host MP3's on fast, high-availability servers and actually shell out some cash for bandwidth and storage space? Or is this another "let's charge for stuff that other people are giving away for free" business model?

    I really don't see why anyone would pay to share their music files especially when there are better alternatives and really Napster isn't providing anything in exchange for that $10 (or whatever it may be) monthly fee. Plus, in the mind of most of my peers (college students), Napster has "sold-out" to the music industry and is probably the LAST place anyone would go to get music on the 'net.

    I know they certainly won't be getting a dime from me.

  • The fact is, that if I'm patient enough, I'll be able to get whatever I want to hear from Gnutella or one of the others.

    What the RIAA could offer (if they ever got their heads out of their asses), is to be the RELIABLE source. It would be worth five bucks a month to me, to know that that I could connect to their service, and know that the music I want will ALWAYS be there, optimally encoded for the particular bitrate, and that the connection won't fail when I have fifteen seconds of the song left to get.

    I will NOT buy any service where the music is buggered by watermarking it.

    -jcr
  • Napster was only good because it had a critical mass of users which meant you can find anything, anytime.
    I doubt whether their pay service will get anywhere near the critical mass. That obscure live recording of that weird ass band will be available on Kazza or winmx, but not on Napster.

    Also, what if I want to download other file types while I am downloading MP3s? Won't be using Napster.

    Napster died a long time ago. When code gets a CEO you know it is doomed.

  • I've said it before. Napster was once a great thing, but for the past year it's been little more than a testing platform for the copyright ownership industry. The best thing Napster could do for the world of file sharing would be to give up and shut down.
  • by Von Rex ( 114907 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2001 @12:52AM (#2351424)

    WinMX is an excellent replacement for Napster.

    You need to use it with an updated server list. The default list is pretty
    useless.

    Instructions

    1. Get WinMX 2.6 at http://www.winmx.com [winmx.com]

    2. Install it and run it once

    3. Replace the "nservers.dat" file with this file:

      http://www.trippynet.f2s.com/nservers25.dat [f2s.com].

      You'll have to rename it to nservers.dat

    4. Run WinMX again. It will squeak about the sever list being out of date.
      Choose the final option, "ignore". It may prompt you for a default login
      and password. You can enter anything for these values.

    5. Once you're done, select "connect all" on the high capacity networks
      section and start searching.


    Notes

    WinMX searches on several networks at once, so results tend to trickle in
    rather than hitting you all at once like with Napster. This can get annoying
    since it sorts new results on the fly which means that previous results will
    jump around in the list. You may wish to let it go for a few seconds, or
    until you get the results you want, and then hit the "stop" button to
    prevent new results from coming in.

    Also, set your defaults for screening files. I go with "cable or better" for
    connection and a bitrate of 128 k (only). Some audiophiles find this
    insufficient and go for a higher bitrate, but to most ears, the only
    difference is the larger file size and download time of mp3's with high
    bitrates.

    WinMX will find everything you search on, much like Napster, but the
    connections aren't quite as reliable. If you get "connection refused" or
    most other errors in red text, forget it and move in. If it says "busy, but
    may join queue", you can join the remote queue by right-clicking on it.
    WinMX will update your status periodically to tell you your position in the
    queue.

    It also works for other file types, like pictures and videos. You can
    probably guess which types of multimedia are most commonly traded :)

Parallel lines never meet, unless you bend one or both of them.

Working...