I was never really fan of going down to the record store to buy CD's. I mean, most of time, I liked one or two songs in an album or from
an artist and that was it. The idea behind MP3's sounded great to me. I could
finally get all those singles I heard on the radio without spending a lot of time
searching through a record store for them. Download music from the convenience of my own
home - easy I thought.
My quest for music wasn't that easy in reality. I searched FTP and web sites only
to find it impossible to find any bands or music that I was interested in.
Legitimate sites like MP3.com only had indie bands I've never heard of, or cared
about. Most MP3 music library websites were only mediums for pornographic
advertising, or for the material itself. FTP sites yielded results in my search
but were nothing more than a tease because of the download/upload ratios and
member only access.
Then one day a friend of mine showed me a program to download games from
newsgroups. As we surfed the different newsgroups, I couldn't help but notice
the vast amount of MP3-based newsgroups popping up.
Obtaining MP3's from the Internet was
now not a myth but an actual, obtainable, free and last but not
least, available-to-you-with-no-strings-attached possibility. It became an obsession. I had to have them all!
However, much to my dismay, I had to check the newsgroups daily for postings
of artists, complete albums, or singles I was interested in. This was fine for
the first few days, but this was starting to be no fun. If you're getting the
music for free, what else do you expect? You have to pay for it somehow -
One day, I noticed a new program featured on television program called
Napster. The details escape me now, but I knew it had something to do with
Oddly, the next day, I read about Napster again in the newspaper. This
program allowed you to share your personal MP3's online while being able to
download them from the archives of other users who were online at the same time.
The idea peaked my interest but I didn't like the idea of putting my computer
online to be accessed by other people. Plus, if a person were to download an MP3
file from my computer, it would surely slowdown my downloads.
I continued my daily checkups, sometimes not checking at all. Sometimes, I'd
stumble on an artist I liked - it was a matter of luck.
||Finally, I gave in
to curiosity and gave it a try. The program (only
can be downloaded from
During installation, Napster allows you to
select your download and upload directories. In other words, (the
latter was my concern) it was saying that I had an option if I wanted
to share my files with other online users. I was a little relieved.
The first thing I noticed about the actual program is its look and ease of use- definetely a computer program designed for the masses.
There are 5 buttons located on the upper screen. There's a "Chat" button allowing you
to select different forums for your genre of choice and discuss
with other online Napster users. "Library" displayes all your downloaded files. "Search" -
the most important of them all, allows you to find that
special song. "Hot List" allows one to add specific users to a list (explained more
further on) and finally there is "Transfer," which displays current
downloads, uploads, and files transferred during a session.
If you look at the bottom right hand portion of the
screen, you will notice some numbers. These are the amount of files available
online for you to search through - which however, is not entirely accurate. The
largest I've seen is around 750,000 files online and over 3000 gigabytes of