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Shawn Fanning's New Venture 165

prostoalex writes "We've read about Justin Frankel, but what are the other heroes of the MP3 revolution up to? tells the story of Shawn Fanning's new company. SnoCap (which changed its name from Open Copyright Database) is currently developing file-sharing mechanisms that would allow the music industry to earn money."
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Shawn Fanning's New Venture

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    He was just some kid who wrote a program primarily designed to trade illicit software.
    • Hero - within the context of the message.

      If they had just said "he's a hero" and left it at that, I would agree. But they qualified the statement by saying "heroes of the MP3 revolution". Which I agree with. Within that small, contained area, they have certainly attained hero status. Without WinAmp or Napster, what would be the state of portable music today? (Assuming no on else had come along and achieved a similar status. But if that were the case, you would be arguing that [Some Guy] wasn't a he
    • And then sold them name to big companies who proceeded to trick people into buying their products because of the Napster symbol slapped on them. Napster is dead, i'm afraid
  • "It's a pretty well thought-out idea, but the success of it hinges on everybody in the ecosystem getting involved,"

    Sounds like all those well thought-out ideas to stop spam, that simply need everyone to agree on something new.

    In London? Need a Physics Tutor? []

    American Weblog in London []
    • by BoldAC ( 735721 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:11PM (#8082894)
      "It's a pretty well thought-out idea, but the success of it hinges on everybody in the ecosystem getting involved," said one record label executive familiar with Snocap. "The key to its success is the peer-to-peer companies agreeing to participate. If they do participate, it could be phenomenal."

      Might as well complete the quote...

      The focus here is getting the peer-to-peer companies to participate. The user is going to take the path of least resistance (and money.) As long as there are free and easy to use peer-to-peer systems, projects like this do not stand a chance.

      However, projects like this could easily take over... if and only if they include one vital key. The makers of the peer-to-peer software will make more money. Kazza, emule, and all the others will lay down their arms and gladly go to a pay-type system if they can make more money that way.

      The problem with that is... there is not enough money to go around. For peer-to-peer to make more that means the music companies are going to have to take less. (They can't rape the artists any more than they already are.)

    • Hey, you know, if I wanted to see your signature, I would have enabled signature viewing in my preferences. Screw you, you're now on my foes list. I don't need to see more advertising on Slashdot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:01PM (#8082837)
    His lawyers wouldn't let him call it AssCap (get it, poking fun at ASCAP)?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:02PM (#8082841)
    If people are sharing-files in some form of triangle scheme for sharing profits-- who controls the quality of the music bought? I refuse to pay for music that cannot guarantee high-quality bit-rate. And, what happens when only part of a song is downloaded that was paid for and it becomes impossible to resume the download, because the person(s) whom you were grabbing a copy from disconnect?
    • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:15PM (#8082914) Journal
      I haven't tried Napster 2, walmart, buymusic, etc., but I get better download speeds from iTunes than I do from most p2p.

      Having a bittorrent-type distribution system with the online music store always on might work, but there would probably be too many problems wrt DRM.

      But what do I know? I've never run an unprofitable company with no business model before, Shawn has.

      • Funny thing is, he didn't actually run the company. It was run by a lot of other much more experienced and savvy people. Didn't help in the end, but they got a lot farther than if he was actually doing something. I visited their offices on business once and met Shawn. He had absolutely *nothing* to do with the meeting, which you think he would have if he actually had anything to do with running the company. He was a face for the company, nothing more (and not even as much as Boies, if you think about it). A
        • Napster was a new idea, people enjoyed hanging out in napster chat rooms and downloading new music, spyware free. Napster started a revolution and sparked major change in the way people listen to music. The clients out now are only small improvements over napster and it is how many years later?
  • dead page (Score:2, Interesting)

    you would think his website would at least have something to explain what it is going to be... a company called SnoCap from San Franciso, sounds like a snowboarding company
  • by ksheka ( 189669 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:05PM (#8082860) For when you want news about ???

    Yes, /. is redundant at times, but I thought the guys at CNet were a bit better...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:06PM (#8082866)
    Shawn Fanning is an idiot. This is not a troll. He releases a PTP system that is so inherently unthought out and stupidly illegal and try to make a go of it. He wrote a program in VB that was what it was because he couldn't implement anything more complex. Sure, some of the beauty of Napster was its simplicity. But this is also the reason we are in a jam with PTP systems like we are today. Without Napster we would not have the RIAA court cases. We would have Gnutella systems, Bit Torrent etc free from lawyers and everyone would be happy.

    Napster was a lowest common denominator PTP system. It stole MP3's. Many people thought of simple systems like this that the masses could use but most knew better than to damage PTP credibility before this. Writing a Napster program in VB would take a few days at best. Not that his idea wasn't what counts, it is and simple is usually better. But in his case there was no way around it. Napster was made to steal music. At least with Hotline and similar technologies you could say it had other purposes and in some cases make other purposes for it.

    Napster has caused so many problems with legit PTP systems. My problem with it was it was so flagrant. It was a dumb mans PTP system and it brought attention to other areas that otherwise didn't want it.

    Now, I probably sound like I am hating on Napster because now it's harder for me to steal things. Well, it's not harder for to steal things so you can rule that out. But, I know systems are being monitored closely now and the general public knows what a PTP system is, well sort of. I download some music I don't own. I use free software so I don't need to pirate that. But now I can get a huge fine if I D/L a song from the wrong person. I blame Napster for this. Not for me D/Ling things, but for being so stupid, flagrant and blatantly illegal about it they fucked it up for everyone.
    • by jonfelder ( 669529 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:46PM (#8083057)
      One thing you cannot ignore is that napster brought P2P to the public eye. Sure we'd have P2P networks now, and they probably wouldn't have the RIAA trying to put them down. The reason why is because almost no one would be using them.

      I don't like the RIAA tactics, but you have to admit that P2P is forcing them to change their business model. Would iTunes Music Store exist if P2P wasn't so wildly popular? Furthermore would we have access to so many portable music devices if it weren't for the popularity of napster and hence the popularity of digitized music (aka MP3 files)?

      Not to mention that P2P gives me hope that one day artists will be able to directly reach their audience without the RIAA.

      Fanning was really the first to let the gennie out of the bottle so to speak. You may think Fanning was an idiot for putting out a program designed only to steal music. I think he was pretty smart for putting out a program that finally allowed us to have something to fight the media giants with, and changed the way many people obtain their music. No longer do you have to record crappy quality tracks off the radio, nor do you have to buy 15 songs of crap for $18 to get one song you like.

      P2P is a force to be reckoned with and it's because of napster that this is true.
      • repeat after me: "Word of mouth goes a long way on the Internet"

        That's the way most of us had found out about Google, ICQ/etc., ebay and hell, even Slashdot and Linux.

        Word of mouth is the most important means of advertising on the internet. Everything else is just spam and therefore mostly ignored. But a word from a guy at the forum will get you almost instant hits. Because you almost ever know for sure, that a person with a not-too-different background (you're reading the same forum...) liked it so m
    • by MacDork ( 560499 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:50PM (#8083069) Journal

      Shawn Fanning is an idiot. This is not a troll. He releases a PTP system that is so inherently unthought out and stupidly illegal and try to make a go of it. He wrote a program in VB that was what it was because he couldn't implement anything more complex. Sure, some of the beauty of Napster was its simplicity. But this is also the reason we are in a jam with PTP systems like we are today. Without Napster we would not have the RIAA court cases. We would have Gnutella systems, Bit Torrent etc free from lawyers and everyone would be happy.

      The reason we have distributed systems in the first place is due to the destruction of Napster. If Napster had never existed, I'm inclined to believe P2P would be nowhere near as widespread as it is today, or that it would even exist at all.

      That said, I see no need for any software that allows the recording industry to make money. We simply don't need the recording industry anymore. All we really need are artists, and fans. Woe be to the recording industry when the likes of iRate [] and CDBaby [] meet. It's clear that we've got the distribution thing covered with the internet. A system like iRate handles the task of getting the artist exposure with fans who will appreciate them, and a store like CDBaby handles the obvious financial needs of the artists. That's really all the current recording industry does now.

      So why do we need to include the bastards who sue 12 year olds again?

      • P2P file sharing was bound to reach the public eye with or without the first mover being Napster. The internet had reached a massive audience and mp3 files had brought the size/quality of digital audio to an acceptable level (for listening & downloading). It was only a matter of time that a file-sharing program was created, be it Napster or something else.

        Napster being technically liable for prosecution by the RIAA (due to its centralized indexing servers) and hence its eventual downfall has nothing
      • And as for not needing the recording industry at all, I'll agree that the current incarnation of the recording industry is not required, but its uses might need some form of record companies to exist.

        Record lables/companies don't only create & distribute, but they MARKET the artists and artists' products. Every time you see an artist on tv, or hear them on the radio (which is how most artists are introduced to the MASS audience), or see their posters in stores or songs in movies, the labels spent a lot
        • by Anonymous Coward
          This is what PR firms do for people and corporations that aren't musicians. If the record industry crumbles, musicians will hire PR firms, who will work for them -- not the other way around.
          • Not exactly, PR firms charge a lot of money up front. How many unknown musicians/artists have enough money to hire such firms?? Record companies market artists based on potential reimbursment if the album gets popular. That is what is needed, not simple PR firms.
        • Record lables/companies don't only create & distribute, but they MARKET the artists and artists' products.

          And which is exactly the reason they should die a horrible death. Artists shouldn't have to be marketed like products. That only fosters the music culture we have today - MTV and the like where the actual music takes a back seat to a host of other things - the look, the video, the hype, the bullshit.

          To enjoy music, I don't particularly need to know how the performers look like, where they shop, w
          • that's not marketing.

            even small underground labels promote their artists. you try to book concerts. you try to make people aware of your music. this isn't easy and cheap, even if it's just going around the internet spreading word without marking yourself as spam
            • Just imagine if the word spread itself. That's what a system like iRate would do for artists. Upload your music, and the system spreads it around. Those who like a song rate it high. That song is then automatically referred to others who will probably like it based on their user profiles. Every band gets a fair shake and gets their music in front of those who are most likely to buy it. In contrast, the large record companies we have now would rather refer songs in order to maximize the strategic advan

    • dupe - this thing seemed familiar.

      See Comment 7177426 []
    • by Jordy ( 440 ) <jordan&snocap,com> on Sunday January 25, 2004 @06:42PM (#8083326) Homepage
      He wrote a program in VB that was what it was because he couldn't implement anything more complex.

      The Napster client was written using C++ using win32 calls. It was never written in VB. Ever. Granted it was more C with classes than C++, but it certainly wasn't VB.

      You have to pretty naive to think that without Napster the RIAA would have simply ignored other systems that enable copyright infringement. Especially a system like bittorrent that with a central server component. Remember that Scour (which predated Napster) was sued, Aimster was sued, etc. It is just Napster received far more press than anyone else.
    • Shawn Fanning is a very smart guy he use to be apart of w00w00 if anyone rememeber w00w00 they were a handfull of a elite white hats who released alot of exploits back in the days and hacked alot of openbsd. Napster was a memeber of w00w00 way before Napster was a famous P2P name.

      I still remember napster coming into #Winprog @ Efnet asking for help when he started napster p2p it was I believe his first win32 appliction he was pretty much a UNIX coder.
    • Here is the link to this original post that this perosn posted anaonymously. pi d=0&startat=&threshold=5&mode=thread&commentsort=0 &op=Change

      Scroll down a bit and you will find it. I'm flattered you liked my post enough to use it but you could have credited me with it. Thanx!
  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:07PM (#8082870) Journal
    Given there is a good freely-available format to rip into (OGG), the only way the publishers are going to get rich(er) is by value-add. That's not a terribly strong argument for a product.

    The fundamental problem is I want to copy the music once I've paid for it. The music industry doesn't want me to do this - because if I can easily move it around, I can move it to my friends house (for visits, you understand :-) If they'd not been so damn greedy at the start, this state of affairs might have been (well, almost) completely avoided....

    All I can say is, Good Luck - you're going to need it...

  • OCD? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jonah Hex ( 651948 ) <> on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:07PM (#8082871) Homepage Journal
    which changed its name from Open Copyright Database
    Might be a good thing to be called OCD, they could say their Obsessive and Compulsive about their Database software!

    Jonah Hex
  • Please don't... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JamesP ( 688957 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:12PM (#8082901)
    is currently developing file-sharing mechanisms that would allow the music industry to earn money."

    If anyone here thinks the RIAA should get more money please raise your hands...

    Yes, yes... I thought so...

    • Exactly. The RIAA is simply trying to collect unearned income.

      The purpose of the publishing industry is - get this - to publish and distribute. Guess what? Whith P2P every single user becomes a publisher and distributor. Once a file is in P2P we don't need the publishing companies to do jack. Why should publishers expect to collect money for sitting around doing nothing?

      If they really want to suggest some sort of billing system for P2P then I say that money should go to the artist that actually created th
  • Why (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Micro$will ( 592938 ) currently developing file-sharing mechanisms that would allow the music industry to earn money.

    Why postpone the inevitable? Let the industry die.

    • Re:Why (Score:2, Informative)

      by Zefram ( 49209 )
      I hate to feed a troll and be off topic, but it annoys me that people see no reason for record companies. The music industry goes through piles and piles of utter crap to pick one crappy band that might make it to radio. They're an amazing shit filter, the public does NOT want to be inundated with unfiltered bands.

      A recording company will help the artists develop their style. I don't mean make overs, they'll hook them up with a producer who will make the band sound like they know how to play so they can ha
      • Re:Why (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        A lot of the hip musicians aren't paying $50/hr to record anymore, they're recording on laptops in home studios, or even on the road. Some of them don't need a producer to make them sound like they can play, because they can actually play. We don't need to produce CDs, now that technology has made it kinda silly to ship bits around on plastic disks.

        Getting into good venues? Probably still a market for a good agent, but that doesn't mean you have to sign your copyrights over to a monopolistic cartel.

        And fi
      • I hate to feed a troll and be off topic, but it annoys me that people see no reason for record companies.

        If my opinion sounds like a troll, it's because you fail to see the big picture. The record industry and broadcast radio are obsolete for 2 reasons:

        1. With this new fangled "Intarweb" thingy, anyone can distribute their own content, whether it be music, text, or software, via subscription or free.
        2. Most people these days can decide for themselves what they like from the thousands, if not millions

        • Well, (to cover my ass against moderation) this is a bit off topic. But, then again, due to what Shiney McShine (or whatever Mr Napster's name is) represents, it's not terribly off topic to talk about the industry in general. That said:

          The record industry and broadcast radio are obsolete for 2 reasons:

          1. With this new fangled "Intarweb" thingy, anyone can distribute their own content, whether it be music, text, or software, via subscription or free.
          2. Most people these days can decide for themselves wh
  • Dude. They made a gui for amp.
  • by jon_c ( 100593 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:17PM (#8082925) Homepage
    Shawn Fanning is no Justin Frankel. He's not even in the same league. Justin Frankel is a hero, Shawn Fanning is just some dope that got lucky.

    • If I had mod points and I use them all for this post.
  • by Python ( 1141 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:17PM (#8082926)
    This seems doomed to fail. It sounds like Sean is trying to sell DRM, based on audio fingerprints, to the record labels. Several technical problems exist with such schemes, such as the ability of the fingerprint to truly fingerprint the content, and of course, the need to trust the client, amongst other problems with DRM. In short, DRM built in the client won't work.

    The big elephant in the room, however, is Sean himself. It sounds like SnoCap is trying to sell a "Secure" model to the entertainment industry, from someone the industry does not trust: Sean. This doesn't bode well for the industry. This is someone the industry claims contributed to the decline of CD sales, and yet then they will turn around and work with him to prevent it? Doesn't add up. Further, if well healed security and DRM companies have not suceeded with the industry, why should SnoCap where others have failed? SnoCap doesn't even appear to have any security people on its staff, so where does it get its expertise? Can anyone say "implementation flaw"? It just doesn't add up. DRM from a company and people that don't have any experience with DRM, security or working with the entertainment industry. Yeah, they're gonna get alot of cooperation from the RIAA.

    Let us not forget the fact that Sean is not well liked in the entertainement industry, nor are the former investors in Napster. These people have little hope of getting the RIAA onboard. Even if they do manage to gain some ground with the industry, its a steep climb for SnoCap to anything close to sucess.

    BTW, why would you want to use a P2P client that has DRM, when you can use something like eMule, Kazaa, GNUNet or any other P2P client that doesn't? Yeah, this will do about as well as Napster would have if they had implemented DRM. Dead in the water.

    • Love Your Enemy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BoldAC ( 735721 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:31PM (#8082992)
      "Shawn is a smart, articulate guy. That goes a long way," said one source familiar with Fanning's discussions with record labels. "He walks in a world that they desperately want access to."

      If I were this group of record companies... I would kill myself and do the world a favor.


      If I were this group of record companies, I would hire a kid like this in a heartbeat. He is likely to understand the peer-to-peer community much more than the record executives. He's help people do it the free and easy way... and maybe he can transition everybody into a more "legit" method of music transfer.

      I don't think the record execs are scared of this guy... I think they are having wet dreams about his re-securing their monolopy on music.

      What is this kid likely to do? We'll just have to wait and see. He's probably smart enough that he could sweet talk his way into a lot of vaporware dollars...

      • Don't forget, his company, unlike others in the digital music space, failed totally, so how smart is he? He didn't pull anything off except the total loss of money for all parties involved.
        • I agree.

          However, in business people fail... often multiple times before they have a financially successful project or company.

          In some ways he has already succeeded in this project--he has a large angel investor. As my accountant and lawyer both recently told me, most investors avoid internet-anything as they are still hurting from the dotcom flop.

          Getting money from investors for internet/tech related projects is tough right now. He has gotten money...

          He is already ahead of the game.

          • Actually, funding is on the rise again. Its not that hard to get funding for a new project. Nevertheless, in the present case, Sean didn't pitch this to VCs, he got one of the people that invested in Napster to invest in SnoCap. Its not suprising that he would go back to the people that invested in Napster, he knows them, they know him. Its also not suprising that the same people that thought Napster was going to work would think this would too. They were not disinterested parties in Napster. We're ta
    • It sounds like Sean is trying to sell DRM, based on audio fingerprints, to the record labels.

      If I was him, given the crap he's been given by record companies in the past, I'd try to scam them too : it looks like they'd buy buy any goofy computer solution [] to save their doomed business model these days.
      • He would be better served creating a truly anonymous P2P client and charging for it. Instead, he looks to be sucking up to the people that put him out of business. WTF?
    • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @06:12PM (#8083177) Homepage Journal
      why would you want to use a P2P client that has DRM, when you can use something like eMule, Kazaa, GNUNet or any other P2P client that doesn't?

      Well, for starters I'd pick a P2P client that doesn't include spyware, which lets out Kazaa, at least the original. Not that DRM doesn't contain its own nasty potential for privacy violations, but I'd pick it over Gator.

      Then I'd look for the biggest network, because the more people use it, the more stuff you can actually get your hands on. If this guy can make a lot of stuff available, many people might go for it, because dealing with DRM may well be less bad than 200-hour failed downloads from an illegal system. That's why people pay a buck to Apple: "free" but unavailable isn't free.

      Still, in the end I dunno what this guy thinks he's going to get. P2P works only because it's free. When you pay for music, you get the privilege of a dedicated fast server with a support staff. Pay music on P2P would be trying to get other people to do the storage and network space. I'm not participating in that.
      • by Python ( 1141 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @07:37PM (#8083623)
        Yep. People pay for apple because they serve the content. With a P2P model, you have no idea what service you are going to get from a peer. The problem with the P2P pay-as-you-go model is that you have no QOS guaranteed in the model. Maybe you get the download now, maybe it takes a few days, maybe its a good recording, etc, you just don't know. Come on, for pennies you can get the music NOW!. With SnoCap you get... what? DRM crippled content? A slow P2P download? An untrustworthy company filled with people that don't care about the users or the content owners? No thanks. They don't sound like they plan to do anyone any favors

        For most people, the old school P2P model works because they already paid for the bandwidth (ISP fees), they own the computer and, they don't mind waiting for the content. It didn't "cost" them anything, so let it ride. Sean is apparently not as smart as everyone thinks. This makes no sense. Napster worked because it was "free" and it was the only option at the time. Now there are many many other options, and they are vastly superior to napster, they offer other content as well (video, boosk, software, etc.), and lets be honest, Napster was a trivially simple setup: client -> server. This is a real P2P system like gnutella, kazaa, etc.. Sean invented the mainframe, someone else invented the PC of the P2P world. His ideas are ancient history and he hasn't had a new idea since then. Frankly, all he did was create a central directory for DCC IRC transfers. Neat, useful, revolutionary, but its ancient history now. There are much better options and he seems stuck in the past.

        Regardless, SnoCap appears to lack the key ingredient that is needed: value. People have to see that there is a point to using it, more content, faster D/ls, quality, time not wasted, money, etc. Given the unlikeliness that Sean can convince an industry made up of technophobes with petty beefs towards him, long memories, and a history of not caring about either the artist or the consumer, SnoCaps chances of working out a good deal for all parties are slim. These are not people that play well with others, let alone their enemies: Napster founders and executives. The whole P2P revolution the recording industry believes cost them a ton of money, and is continuing to hurt them. Why on Earth would the recording industry trust someone that they believe cost them billions?

        This SnoCap thing is ridiculous. You couldn't ask for a bigger joke. The users won't trust Sean because he's "sold out", he wants to build DRM on top of P2P, and the entertainment industry can't stand him or the people involved with him. Its absurd. If I didn't know any better, I would wonder if this was some big fake story for what the company is really doing. But seeing who invesnted in it, I'm not suprised. These are the same people that thought poring money into Napster, without anything close to a business model was going to net them billions. Yeah, so how is that working out for them now? Thought so.

        Move along folks. This is ysterdays news. This is the the sad story of a dot-bomb crew trying to relive their glory days in the most absurd and attention grabing way possible. The industry might throw them a bone, but they have nothing to add to the current mix. iTunes and others are already doing this, and without all the mess. Its cheap, its easy, and if you don't want to even pay a few cents for your tunes, you can still get them from Kazaa, eMule and so on. Nothing to see here at all, except a sad sad attempt to try and re-invent Napster.

  • Justin quit. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    2004-01-23 13:00:57 Justin Frankel Actually Quits Nullsoft (articles,music) (rejected)

    Hmmm.... /finger
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:26PM (#8082972)
    Snocap has been working on ways to identify songs, as they are traded through a file-swapping network, including using a technique called "audio fingerprinting," which monitors the sonic characteristics of music files.

    shawn $ fingerprint_id_test test_files.txt

    LOADING INPUT TEST FILE: beethoven.mp3
    Identifying ...
    100% Match: Beethoven, Ludwig Van, classical

    LOADING INPUT TEST FILE: coltrane.mp3
    Identifying ...
    100% Match: Coltrane, John, Jazz

    LOADING INPUT TEST FILE: chembros.mp3
    Identifying ...
    100% Match: Chemical Brothers, electronic
    77% Match: Daft Punk, electronic
    75% Match: Noise, industrial-moise-recording

    LOADING INPUT TEST FILE: britspears.mp3
    Identifying ...
    100% Match: Spice girls, teenage pop
    100% Match: N'Sync, teenage pop
    100% Match: Backstreet Boys, teenage pop
    100% Match: Hilary Duff, teenage pop
    100% Match: Maris Willson, teenage pop
    100% Match: Holly Valance, teenage pop
    100% Match: Mandy Moore, teenage pop
    100% Match: Vitamin C, teenage pop
    100% Match: Christina Aguilera, teenage pop
    100% Match: Five, teenage pop
    100% Match: Jennifer Lopez, teenage pop
    100% Match: Aaliyah, teenage pop
    100% Match: Rachel Stevens, teenage pop
    100% Match: Pink, teenage pop

    *** Endless recursion error. Core dumped ***
  • by lotsofno ( 733224 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:38PM (#8083022)
    Justin recently announced that he has resigned [] from AOL and Nullsoft:

    Attempting to finger -
    Login: justin - - - - - - - - - - Name: Justin
    Directory: /home/deadbeef - - - - Shell: /usr/local/bin/tcsh
    Never logged in.
    New mail received Thu Oct 9 15:07 2003 (PDT)
    - - Unread since Mon Mar 10 12:28 2003 (PST)
    Mail forwarded to:
    Jan 22, 2004

    Well, it took a bit longer than I (or likely anybody else expected), but after four and a half years, I've resigned from my position at AOL. Yay/sigh/etc.

    This will likely be the last time I update this .plan, but I might find myself updating the .plan of

    peace out.

    End of finger session

    Fortunately, this won't really result in a loss of quality with future Winamp versions. their two main coders, "Francis and Christophe," Will be taking over most of the development. From what I've heard, they did most of the work with Winamp 5. And as most of those who've taken the time to really check out Winamp 5... It really whips the llama's ass.
    • Winamp 5 is a hog (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Winamp 2 could run fine on a high end 486. The min cpu requirement for Winamp 5 is 400mhz and it also eats lot more ram than Winamp 2! My computer is only 400 mhz, but even if I had a 2ghz pc, I would not waste system resources on Winamp 5. When you have lots of different program running why waste extra resources for Winamp 5, does it add anything new I use? NO!

      Winamp 5 really bogs the llama down.
      • Re:Winamp 5 is a hog (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pyrros ( 324803 )
        [Nice troll, being a winamp fanboi, i can't help but reply]

        Have you actually tried winamp 5 or are you talking out of your ass?

        Seriously, winamp 5 is winamp 2 with winamp3 skin support (which is where most of the hogging comes from, and you can even disable it by uninstalling the "modern skins support" plugin) plus ripping and burning support (depending on who you ask -- it was added in an unofficial 2.x version)

        On my athlon 2100+ system, winamp5 takes up 2.5 megs of ram while playing with a classic skin
    • It really whips the llama's ass.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2004 @05:39PM (#8083028)
    allow the music industry to earn money

    Next, we'll be teaching fish to swim, birds to fly, and rabbits to reproduce....

  • by szyzyg ( 7313 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @06:40PM (#8083318)
    You know most people here seem to be of the opinion that Napster was an obvious concept and anybody here couldhave come up with it. The Next step in everyone's misguided logid is that Shawn is therefore no smarter than the average slashdot reader..... then jealousy kicks in and people start calling him names for getting all the attention.

    Well, at the start of 2002 I ended up out of a job and managed to get a position in Napster, long past the days when they were running the full service. There was the Beta test for the pay service running as well as a few potentially groundbreaking court cases. Turns out I was the last engineer Napster hired.

    Anyway, I'd studied the napster setup in great detail and I pretty much had the same opinions - I figured that Shawn was an average geek who had got lucky. I didn't expect he'd much from him, hey, I'd spent 10 years in academia, I'd spent years 'saving the world from killer asteroids' (, and....

    I'd wrote and released the first mp3 radio software and then watched Justin Frankel and winamp get all the credit for 'inventing' it a year and a half later. I went to napster expecting that Shawn wasn't anything special.

    Boy was I wrong, he is a genuinely smart guy, yes he was also lucky - just like I'm a smart guy who wasn't so lucky. I think a lot of technical people underestimate him and sometimes this is working to his advantage.

    So, lay off the assumption that luck == stupid - smart people get lucky all the time too.
    • by Python ( 1141 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @07:52PM (#8083699)
      Oh please. Lets be realistic. He had a revolutionary idea in a market vacuum. He wrote some cool, useful, revolutionary software - but he is not a business genius. You can have the greatest idea on Earth, but if you can't make it into a business, then you won't make a cent of it. Sean wanted to make money, and he made nothing, nor did his investors or anyone except the lawyers.

      So lets review, Sean was smart enough to let his Uncle own over 70% of the company before they had even hired one employee, smart enough to never construct a model that would generate one cent of revenue, and smart enough to let his VCs and lawyers run Napster into the ground and he's working with them again? Wow, what a plan, anyone wondering whats going to happen again?

      Just to be clear, how much did you, or anyone else net from Napster? Aside from all the lawyers of course? Nothing? This is sad. Sean is a clever opportunistic programmer, but he's not a sharp businessman. He's in league with the same people that ran Napster into the ground. He's a dupe. He's being taken advantage of, at best, and he's shortsighted at worst. I for one hope he cuts the bounds, turns his back on these idiots that ruined Napster and truly does his own thing.

      Don't be so quick to hand him all the credit for the implosion of Napster though. Afterall, he was surrounded by geniuses. Brilliant people that blew the chance of a lifetime and netted nothing, and convinced him it was a great idea. No doubt how they have strung him along with this one.

      A sad story. Pity the man.

      • Intelligence does not directly equate to business sense.

        I'm sure there exists in the world a successful businessman who has never had an original idea in his life. There exists a talented programmer who wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to make the money from his art.

        Shawn Fanning may be neither of these two. But don't judge his intelligence purely on the basis of his ability to make money with it.
  • It makes me feel... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Andy Smith ( 55346 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @07:11PM (#8083480)
    ... physically sick to see Shawn Fanning referred to as a hero.

    There are many cold, calculating and ruthless people in the music business. Shawn Fanning is one of them. Please don't ever think for one single second that he was "one of us".
    • Cold, calculating and ruthless? Wise up..he's just another smart kid who had a good idea and tried to get rich off it.

      Yeah I'm sure he would have done some things differently given the chance to go back, but hindsight is a wonderful thing..
  • by Stubtify ( 610318 ) on Sunday January 25, 2004 @07:35PM (#8083612)
    He's not Napster! I'm the real napster. Shawn was my roommate in college, I rote napster and named it that because I was always napping. When I fell asleep one day he stole the program from me and now he gets all the glory.
  • What does Shaun bring to the table besides celebrity clout? I was unimpressed with the quality of Napster's code before it got big, and obviously he has not demonstrated any strength in growing a business or developing a revenue model. He was just in the right place at the right time, keen to exploit vagueries in ancient copyright statues.

    This one will get tons of press because of Shaun's presence, but I wouldn't say that his role gives the company any more of a chance at succeeding.
  • /. should have a section for press releases and updates from publicists, then I could configure ./ to not show me any of these asinine topics.

    Please give it some consideration.

    -- L.
  • Or Sell bandwidth that those file sharing apps eat so much of, there is money in that, just alot of players in it already. val1s

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?