napster bought macster!
October 24, 2000 2:01 PM   Subscribe

napster bought macster! (am i the only one who didn't know this was gonna happen?)
posted by patricking (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've never coded apps for the Mac. Anyone know how difficult it is to port a networking app like Napster from the PC to Mac or back? Napster had been working on it for months, supposedly. I guess in the end, it just became easier to buy and modify an existing program outright.
posted by waxpancake at 2:16 PM on October 24, 2000

Personally I liked Macster the best out of all the Mac Napster-alikes--I'm glad to see it be legitimized. Hopefully now Blackhole Media will have some resources to really get it stabilized. (the previous Macster, PR5.5, crashes regularly, although I know some of it can be blamed on the unfinished Carbon implementation in OS 9...)

Although now I have this funny feeling that Napster never really was working on a Mac version at all... it can't have been that difficult, considering that there's at least two other clones out there, one of which even has Napigator-like functionality. Anyway, straight PC ports never go over well with the Mac crowd. In the end they're better off giving the mantle of authority to a born-and-bred Mac app.
posted by darukaru at 4:07 PM on October 24, 2000

The best Mac Napster client is undoubtedly MP3 Rage, but it seems to be widely ignored because the publisher dares to charge money for it. To be fair, it does about twenty bazillion other MP3-related things besides pirate them, so it's worth the money.
posted by kindall at 4:40 PM on October 24, 2000

Napster has hosted Macster on their servers for several months now, so I don't think it's news.
posted by gyc at 4:44 PM on October 24, 2000

Go napster... yeah... whatever.

Napster will not be anything more than an interim solution to the problem until they get rid of the need for a server - something that, as far as I can tell, they are unable to do.

posted by Mars Saxman at 4:51 PM on October 24, 2000

MP3 Rage is keen. But I always think of it as an ID3 tag editor, which it was to begin with, instead of a Napster client. (However, MP3 Rage is the one I mentioned above with the Napigator built in, so its client is much more than an afterthought.) Other than the occasional burp where it totally misreports the bitrate and playing time of a file, it's a killer tool.
posted by darukaru at 6:57 PM on October 24, 2000

"Anyone know how difficult it is to port a networking app like Napster from the PC to Mac or back?"

Probably hugely different. I have no experience programming for the mac, but I know all sorts of fundamental things would be different -- some of the networking commands might be similar, but commands for things like drawing the buttons on your windows are completely different. Not to mention if you want to support drag-and-drop. Oh, and that integrated MP3 player -- I betcha the sound APIs are different, too.
posted by CrayDrygu at 9:15 PM on October 24, 2000

some of the networking commands might be similar,

Actually, not even that. The MacOS has a unique networking API, called "Open Transport", which is completely unlike the more common socket based networking libraries.

It is entirely possible to create applications which can be maintained for both MacOS and Windows - there are many companies happy to sell you toolkits designed for this purpose - but porting software written specifically for one OS to the other is almost always an immense hassle.

Given Napster's relatively diminutive footprint and the fact that most of the code is UI-related, rewriting it from scratch would have been easier. As they eventually discovered, in a roundabout way. :-)

posted by Mars Saxman at 11:10 PM on October 24, 2000

And a killer ID3 tag editor MP3 Rage is too, just in case anyone hasn't tried it yet. The developers are awesome, as well. I suggested that they add the ability to add Balloon Help resources to MP3 files; a couple of days later they released a new version with that feature. In fact, the features that help you move the MP3 meta-information out of ID3 tags and into the Mac's filesystem are what convinced me to lay down my money. Having the artist name in a separate, sortable column in your Finder windows (the Comment field) is tres cool.
posted by kindall at 11:21 PM on October 24, 2000

Having done net programming on Mac, Windows, and UNIX-if you started from scratch Open Transport and sockets are definitely apart, *but* not so far that sockets can't be implemented in terms of OT. In fact, it's been done in GUSI, the Grand Unified Socket Interface by Mathias Neeracher. It's a free POSIX-compliant socket layer. Also, there's also a decent enough OOP implementation of various network protocols in the Metrowerks to build an app based on standard network protocols (it took me a few hours to write an app that retrieves data via the http protocol, nultiwindowed, multithreaded).

Although I don't know the specifics of Napster's protocols, if they based their code on wininet.dll, Microsoft's internet stack, then there is a *big* portability and functionality issue right there.

posted by plinth at 6:22 AM on October 25, 2000

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