Napster caves.
January 29, 2001 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Napster caves. So what is the best alternative for dial-up connections?
posted by aflakete (23 comments total)
Maybe audiogalaxy?
posted by gleemax at 10:18 AM on January 29, 2001

i've got some of my own tracks on napster... do i get a percentage of the profits made from the membership fees? cuz if not, napster is stealing from ME and i am going to sue them.
posted by afx114 at 10:19 AM on January 29, 2001

I will gladly pay for the service. Though, I hope they install servers with some serious bandwidth. The last time I used it, I could only download from about 1/10 of the users I connected to.
posted by mathowie at 10:22 AM on January 29, 2001

Napster will survive, but it'll take a while, first people will try to find an alternative. They won't since napster is the only one that could support as many people as it has. Ever try searching through gnutella? The result on that is like 1 good in every 100 bad. Scour was pretty good for a while though.
posted by tiaka at 10:47 AM on January 29, 2001

I'll be subscribing to Napster also, unless the price is prohibitively expensive. I use it all the time to chase down obscure songs, try groups and albums I read about in reviews, and chase down long out-of-print music from local bands that isn't available anywhere secondhand (primarily The Judys).
posted by rcade at 10:52 AM on January 29, 2001

Bearshare 2.0.4 is pretty nice Gnutella client that I've had a lot of success with. Dunno if it will work in the long term, but at the moment it's pretty nice.

Seriously though, I'm all about letting people get my music for free, I don't give a fuck, but if Napster starts charging people to get my music for "free" I'm suing their asses. How am I going to get my share of the profits? Am I going to have to register as an artist to get my share of the pie? Hmmm... what's an "open source band" supposed to do?
posted by afx114 at 10:54 AM on January 29, 2001

Though, I hope they install servers with some serious bandwidth. The last time I used it, I could only download from about 1/10 of the users I connected to.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with Napster's servers. You're downloading directly from someone else's computer; that's the whole point of Napster. Only the search (and chat and maybe a few other things) are hosted centrally.
posted by kindall at 11:01 AM on January 29, 2001

afx brings up a solid point here... itwas the first that came to my mind, anyway... since I have a track or two of my own in Napsterland, and have yet to be contacted by them on how I will recieve my payment.

How will they determine which artists are reimbursed by this new subscription service?
posted by tj at 11:40 AM on January 29, 2001

I'll see you on IRC. Going back to the old school, cause I'm an old fool, thats so cool.
posted by howa2396 at 11:47 AM on January 29, 2001

Are the subscriptions going to be for everyone, or just new users? I remember reading something that said people who were already members would not have to subscribe, although I don't remember where it was so I can offer up any credibility with it.
posted by tomorama at 11:52 AM on January 29, 2001

A fee-based Napster will likely fail. Why? Because the content comes from the users. The moment that they start excluding people, the usefulness of the Napster service drops accordingly.

When they start charging, a majority of Napster users will stop using the program, either because they don't want to (or can't) pay the fee. (Remember that many teens and pre-teens don't have credit cards in the first place.)

The remaining subscribing users are left searching through this reduced pool of music. From that point, a second wave of users will cancel their accounts because they can't find the music they were able to find before, further reducing its quality.

It's a downward spiral from there, unless Napster finds a method and incentive for non-subscribers to share their files.
posted by waxpancake at 12:07 PM on January 29, 2001

Indeed. The usefulness of a peer to peer network (of any type) is proportional to the square of the number of users.

I believe that's called Metcalfe's Law, and it's certainly pertinent in this context...
posted by baylink at 12:13 PM on January 29, 2001

They should have paying users, and non-paying users. Non-paying users can access music owned by companies Napster hasn't cut a deal w/, and for free. The paying users can get music owned by DGC, or whoever.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:18 PM on January 29, 2001

waxpancake: that's a good point, but if you cut a deal with the labels, you no longer have to skirt the issue of carrying content on napster servers. They could very easily set up their own repository of content--even if it were only in the form of "virtual lockers" where users could keep their mp3s online. that way, one would have access to all users' content regardless of whether they were online or not.
posted by jpoulos at 12:26 PM on January 29, 2001

How will they determine which artists are reimbursed by this new subscription service?

Well, if your songs are registered with ASCAP or BMI, which they should be if you want to get royalties for bands covering them and for various other uses of the music, I'd assume you will get a cut of the Napster subscription too.

On the other hand, Napster strikes me as a lousy way for new artists to get exposure. Nobody searches for artists they've never heard of.
posted by kindall at 1:07 PM on January 29, 2001

Nobody searches for artists they've never heard of.

true... but lots of people search for artists YOU'VE never heard of.
posted by afx114 at 1:29 PM on January 29, 2001

Yeah, but that doesn't help the new artist looking for exposure. In order to find their music with Napster, they must first know about it, which kinda defeats the point.
posted by kindall at 1:38 PM on January 29, 2001

Will they be able to enforce payments with OpenNap or other napster server protocols that you can access with Napigator?

My school's got a ban on Napster (by blocking domains) but you can still use the Napster program to access servers. Won't people just move to non-regulated servers?

And I'd hazard a guess that a good number of Napster users are teens or younger. And most teens don't have credit cards. To pay for Napster.
posted by gramcracker at 1:44 PM on January 29, 2001

Nobody searches for artists they've never heard of.

People search for artists they've never heard, though. After reading this Salon review comparing the group Frisbie to Big Star, I jumped on Napster, downloaded a few songs, and liked them enough to buy the CD.

I know people don't like to hear stories where Napster actually helped an artist rather than ripping one off, but I never would have heard Frisbie without a music-sharing service such as Napster.

I keep meaning to use Napster to try Kid A and a couple of other bands that are praised all over the place on the Web.
posted by rcade at 1:47 PM on January 29, 2001

Er, make that couple of other albums.
posted by rcade at 1:48 PM on January 29, 2001

For mainstream stuff, AudioFind works.

I'll never pay for the ability to share files with another net user. I already have that ability.

I think the key to napster's success was the simplicity of the program, so ignorant people could use it. We need another simple, mainstream prog.
posted by grank at 3:00 PM on January 29, 2001

The handy thing about mp3s is the id tag. You can put anything in there. I have seen some unknown (atleast unknown outside of a small area) artists put "for fans of Calexico" in the id tag. You do a search for Calexico and you will also get the unknown artist. I have found a few new artists that way. I download the tracks and liked what I heard. Then I ordered the cd from their website, which is in the comments field of the id tag.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 5:05 PM on January 29, 2001

Here's the big question: if the Napster fee is all about royalties, what about all of the non-ASCAP, non-BMI bands out there? How does the amateur power trio of twelve-year olds from Peoria get a cut of all this?

The answer is: they don't. What we'll be seeing is a horrendous proliferation of what everybody already has on their computers. The same crappy '80's tunes, the same Kid A tracks: everything that the music industry stands for and worse will profit from this. And with the RIAA tie-in, you can be almost guaranteed that Napster will start pushing MP3s on us that will make a hunt for an obscure Django Reinheardt tune as unbearable as FM radio. (Can you imagine the next evolution of collaborative filtering? A dialog comes up: "Our records indicate that you might just like this tune! Download?")

Gnutella and AudioFind are in the position to strike back with this. In Napster's case, I fear the worst.
posted by ed at 11:51 PM on January 29, 2001

« Older Tetsuo! Kaneda!   |   An interview with Sam and Zak Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments