Throwing It Back 16 Years to Napster


Back before cats were Internet cool, there was Napster. The first of its kind, Napster was a peer to peer (P2P) file sharing program that allowed anyone with a dial-up connection to search for, share and download files – most notably music. [tweetthis]#TBT: Back before cats were Internet cool, there was #Napster.[/tweetthis]


Pop Quiz! Why was Napster’s logo of a cat?

Answer: It was in response to Lycos’s dog logo, which was the predominant tool for searching for mp3s back then.


The Rise and Fall of Napster

Napster, of course, revolutionized the music industry and played a key role in determining how we consume music and other digital media today. Napster spawned many clones worth mentioning: Limewire, Kazaa, Gnutella, eDonkey2000, BitTorrent… It was also the reason artists like Metallica and Dr. Dre were throwing down one lawsuit after the next.

napster-questionThe short-lived service launched in 1999 by Sean Fanning and Sean Parker (yes, that’s the same Sean Parker of Facebook lore) withstood the RIAA and music labels until its demise in 2001. Although still in existence today, Napster is essentially a stripped-down subscription based, Rhapsody service that was formerly operated by BestBuy as an online store.

On the 15th anniversary of Napster’s launch, one writer reached out to a dozen music industry journalists and editors for their thoughts about Napster, here’s what they had to say.

I was one of the original batch of 1999 Napster users, it was an exciting time in file sharing history to say the least. I still remember the feeling of pure joy associated with having access to songs that you couldn’t get anywhere else… remixes, live cuts, etc.

Those gen one mp3s still play, but sometimes you gotta turn ’em up much like their cassette and 8-track predecessors.

Happy #TBT Napster!

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