Sunday, June 04, 2000

Name that tune - Napster's got it

Mouse clicks provide a voluminous library of songs, and the mouse is roaring at the music industry

By Larry Nager
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Despite its drowsy name, Napster is the hottest news in the music business.

        In the old days, (say, 1998), high school and college kids made cassettes of their favorite songs for friends. With Napster, that circle of “friends” has gone global, with hundreds of thousands of people all over the world swapping music files over the Internet.

        Metallica believed it was losing so much recording revenue through Napster that the veteran hard-rock band is suing the company to block access to its music. So is rapper Dr. Dre and, thus far, 18 record companies.

        The huge numbers and worldwide nature of the materials swapped on Napster guarantee a hard-fought battle.

        Napster ( is the biggest of a growing number of music-swapping (and now, video-swapping) Internet sites.

        The Napster Music Community, as it calls itself, is a giant virtual swap meet, where you can pick any song from any member's MP3 files (the preferred music format for PCs). When you're signed on, all your MP3s become available to everyone else as well.

        That ease of gathering huge numbers of digital music files from a worldwide market for free has the music industry up in arms.

        In the year that has passed since 19-year-old Boston-area college student Shawn Fanning launched it, Napster has revolutionized the music-consuming habits of teens, traditionally the record industry's most dependable market. Campus-area CD stores around the country are reporting decreasing sales, despite a rise in overall industry figures.

- Name that tune - Napster's got it
    Metallica-Napster flap is like a broken record
    My introduction to Napster
    Napster's busy year
    What you need

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