Download Utopia: A 17-Year-Old File-Sharing Program Is Still the Best Place to Find Obscure Music

The lifespan of software is a curious thing. Unless a program is deemed irreplaceable by an industry (like Photoshop), most die out or are succeeded by a better—or cheaper—option a few years later. Even games, outside of retro collectors’ items or unicorn hits (Diablo II), lose steam. After the downfall of Napster, Kazaa, Limewire and the rest of the early file-sharing clients, most people assumed that single source peer-to-peer (P2P) piracy programs—the kind where you download music or other files from exactly one user—died out. But one of them, Soulseek, weathered three of file-sharing’s mass extinctions, and has quietly remained one of the best sources of obscure music. Read More >>

Napster Founder Wants People to Pay $50 to Rent Films for 48 Hours

The Germans probably have an overwrought, seven-syllable word for extreme irony. But I’m not sure anything can do justice to Napster founder Sean Parker, arguably the founding father of internet piracy, championing a ridiculously expensive movie startup. Read More >>

Aldi Turns to Napster to Power EU Music Streamer

German supermarket chain Aldi is turning its discounting guns on the music streaming industry, launching an in-house streaming subscription service powered by the entirely legitimate modern Napster engine. Read More >>

How a Mail-Order Music Scam Taught Me to Steal

It’s hard to say exactly when I learned how to steal music. At first, I think it happened when I learned how to torrent. Then I recall my late nights with Napster. But if I really think hard about it, I remember school days and Columbia House and an incredible eight CDs for a penny deal. That’s when I started stealing. Read More >>

Sean Parker: The Maverick Who Changed the Music Industry Forever

In the beginning was the Word. Then someone figured out how to record the Word, and how to share it on the internet for free - pissing off the entire recording industry in the process. Read More >>

This Short Doc On How Napster Changed Everything is Worth a Watch

The New York Times' Retro Report series has an excellent new short documentary video about the rise of Napster. Remember the year 2000? We were such pirates back then. Read More >>

With HMV Re-Opened, Can You Teach An Old Music-Loving Dog New Tricks?

The first record I ever bought was from HMV. It was Weezer’s Green Album, and while I can’t pretend it was the moment that my obsession with music kicked off (I’ll put that down to the literal wall of CDs that acted as structural support for my older brothers’ bedroom), it is a moment that I remember incredibly vividly. And, for the record, its was a great album too. Read More >>

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How Napster Brought the Recording Industry to Its Knees

Just over thirteen years ago, a novel file sharing service called Napster sent the recording industry into a tizzy. Suddenly nobody had to pay for music any more thanks to the Internet. Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker pretty much single-handedly spearheaded the file-sharing revolution that the recording and motion picture industries are only just starting to catch up to. Read More >>

Airtime Is Just Chatroulette Without the Dicks

Airtime is a new startup by Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning (of Napster fame) that recycles an old idea: Chatroulette. Yep, that random video chatting dickfest invented by some Russian teenager has seemingly been redressed in tailored suits and landscaped beards and is totally going to change the world. Joke. It's Chatroulette buttoned-up, which means less fun but ideally more useful. Read More >>

Napster Survives in the UK and Germany

Napster, the MP3 sharing service that started it all, officially died when it was bought by the US music streaming service Rhapsody from doomed-in-the-UK Best Buy. The thing is, Rhapsody is a no-name entity in the UK, so the company is giving Napster a reprieve. Read More >>

200 Indie Record Labels Dump Streaming Services over £0.006 Per Stream Payouts

UK music distributor STHoldings has removed nearly 200 independent record labels from streaming services, claiming they "cannibalise the revenues" of the traditional music scene. Read More >>

Napster Dudes Working on a Chatroulette-Style Service

The time has very much passed for Chatroulette (pictured), but according to Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker (immortalised in The Social Network), a video-chatting service with social networking profiles is The Next Big Thing. Called Airtime, investors include Ashton Kutcher and Will.i.am. Read More >>