Thursday, May 20, 2004

DEAD CAT BOUNCE: has gone live - somehow, it's already managed to put together a top ten downloads chart, being headed, gormlessly, by Avril Lavigne. If you run a search on a band, and they don't have the band, the box claims they're "working on getting [band name] on Napster" and they seem to have got hopelessly muddled between Heavenly (the Oxford post-Tallulah Gosh cuties) and Heavenly (the rock band).

The little bit of history makes interesting reading, too:

In 1999, teenager Shawn Fanning's Napster software revolutionised the concept of distribution of music over the Internet. Due to the climate of the music industry at the time, Napster was shut down before a deal could be made to compensate the artists and songwriters who produced the music.

"Due to the climate of the music industry at the time...", eh?

Napster seems to want to take control of all the music - "all the non secure WMAs and MP3s you have" - on your computer, and they're trying to make out the secret advantage of Napster is that you can see what other people are listening to - back in old Napster, this was handy, as you were relying on other people having the tracks before you could download them; now all the music is held centrally, it's not entirely clear what the advantage of the community is, beyond creating some sort of chart. It's interesting, but no more interesting than reading music blogs or joining a YahooGroup, which can be done for free. The non-community version sells just the songs, not the neighbourhood. And here's the rub: A pound and ninepence for a single song. Everything except the rebellion and the value, then.

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