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Napster: A revolution in MP3's

Napster: A revolution in MP3's - PCSTATS
Abstract: Napster and its MP3 treasure chest is in the news almost daily. What is Napster, and more importantly what are the tweaks to get more out of it? We've got the scoop, so read on!
Filed under: Audio / Sound Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Napster Mar 21 2000   A. Yong  
Home > Reviews > Audio / Sound > Napster

Napster: A revolution in MP3's

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 - right?

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 MP3's.

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 647KB) can be downloaded from www.napster.com 

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 shared music!

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Contents of Article: Napster
 Pg 1.  — Napster: A revolution in MP3's
 Pg 2.  So what makes Napster so special?
 Pg 3.  Lawsuits and Conclusions:

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