Feeds

Dead at 13: Napster 1998-2011

P2P pioneer, later online music shop, closed in US

Security for virtualized datacentres

So, farewell then, Napster.

The company founded by Shawn Fanning - who named it after his close-crop haircut, apparently - when his peer-to-peer file-sharing app of the same name took off, is no more.

The firm that now owns it, Rhapsody, will fold the online music shop that Napster became into its own store, in the US at least.

Napster the software debuted in 1998, but was jumped upon by the music industry - in particular by its militant wing, the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) - and closed down by a US appeals court judge in 2001.

The following year, its assets were acquired by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, but the reformed company quickly collapsed into bankruptcy.

Pr0n company Private Media Group briefly acquired the name, but the moniker and the software eventually ended up in the hands of software firm Roxio, in November 2002. Roxio went on, in May 2003, to buy PressPlay, a music subscription service started by Sony and Universal, and eventually relaunched it as Napster.

But its decision to offer music for rent rather than sale - subscribe and download as many tracks as you like, but they'll stop playing if you stop paying - proved a lot less popular than Apple's buy-and-download model.

Napster hobbled on, launching internationally in 2004, before being acquired by US retail giant Best Buy in September 2008 for a mere $121m.

Rhapsody - itself a music rental service, founded by erstwhile Apple rival Real Networks - bought Napster off Best Buy last month. Given the death of the name, Rhapsody clearly acquired Napster for its customer list, not its brand.

What of Napster UK? Will it go too? We're still waiting to hear from it, and we'll let you know when we do. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.