Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » N »

Napster

Created by 19-year-old Shawn Fanning in 1999, Napster is an application that gives individuals access to one another's MP3 files by creating a unique file-sharing system via the Internet.

Napster lets users view and download the contents of MP3 directories from other Napster users' hard drives. Type in the artist and/or song to receive a list, compiled by Napster's servers, of all the files currently available. Double click on a song to download from user's hard drive.

Because Napster searches individual hard drives, the number and variety of MP3 files vary. Not all Napster users are online at the same time; therefore, what you may not find one day, may, in fact, be there the next.

Macintosh faithful who want to benefit from Napster can download Macster, which works the exact same way as Napster. And, for all you open-source nuts, look into GNapster.

Napster has been under fire from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), who interprets Napster as copyright-infringement software. But, because the MP3 files do not reside on Napster's servers, nor does Napster charge a fee for the service, critics felt the RIAA had a weak legal leg to stand on. Napster simply allows individuals to share music, as does tape recorders and CD burners. However, in March of 2001, due to a court order, Napster blocked the trading of over 100,000 files of copyrighted songs. The court ruled that Napster's technology was an infringement on the copyrights of published music.

Many feel that Napster is revolutionizing the consumer music market, and it is up to the Music industry to adapt.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »

Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits

The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »

13 Best Free Android Apps

From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
5 Best Cloud Storage Services

With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »

Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC

Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »