Advantages Brilliant way to obtain free music
Disadvantages Being actively handicapped by the USA high court.
Napster is certainly causing a lot of headline news right now. The mp3 file sharing system has come under attack for not securing the service against copyright fraud. This has meant that people can download copyrighted songs for free - losing the record compnies an estimated revenue in the million pounds mark. It's hard to see how they can arrive at this figure though - but thats what they say.I personally have used Napster almost a year. Shaun Fannings dream came true and the site now has over 2million members using its software (this is rapidly increasing - especially with all the headlines it's making!). The site allows you to download some software (which is a relatively small program and downloads quite quickly - even on a 38.8k modem like mine). This software allows you to download MP3 files fgrom other users and visa versa.
It's a good fast site and connection is never normally a problem, although some songs are increasingly giving 'transfer error' messages - usually because people have gone offline while you were trying to download their songs. I am on Napster as I write this. It happily downloads in the background while you do other things. A simple yet very effective tool.You simply go to the site and search for the song you want. Then just double click any of the various users who have that song to begin downloading it. It couldn't be easier.
I don't know why the record companies are making such a fuss. If Napster wasn't here then I simply wouldn't hear the music. If I have anything on there that I want, I go and buy it anyway (the CD's usually have extra versions or enhanced features such as video clips that you cant get on Napster anyway). They aren't losing any money from me.Non-the-less, the courts in America have ordered Napster to develop software to ban the download and distribution of copyrighted material by June, a task Napster is currently undertaking to avoid being shut down. In its defence Napster has launched a 3rd appeal and has the backing of almost all of its users. You can even join a growing campaign to actively keep the site open.
To check it out yourself, go to www.napster.com and download the software. It's well worth the look and has no catches. No spy software, no forms for spam email and no stupid pop-up adverts. So why not? If you dont like it then just uninstall it. Simple.
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