Napster RIP, swallowed up by Rhapsody

As more ways to stream and download music become available from the likes of iTunes and Spotify, one that has been around longer Napster is no more as it gets swallowed up by Rhapsody. When the service was first born it allowed users to illegally share such music but has now been merged into Rhapsody.

A deal was first announced back in October and according to Cnet meant that all of Napster’s subscribers and assets were to be taken over by the company. Napster was started in 1999 by Shawn Fanning who at the time was a nineteen year old student. Users were able to share MP3 files via the internet free but led to big losses to the recording artists and industry.

This saw the company hit with various lawsuits that eventually spelt the end of Napster in its then current guise. The Digital Millennium Copyright started proceedings off in April 2000 with Metallica being a vocal opponent to the service. Rap artist Dr. Dre also joined the campaign against the company with his own lawsuit.

Napster began the process of blocking illegal music swapping after receiving a federal court order, which led to the amount of content available on the site dropping. The service was dead in the water in 2002 after another takeover was blocked.

The service made a comeback in 2003 but had little in common with the original service as it was now a legitimate service. Users could now legally download music from the site after the name was purchased from the bankruptcy court for $5 million by Roxio.

It struggled along for years before Best Buy snapped the service up for $121 million, before the retailer doing a deal in October with Rhapsody. When visiting the Napster website users are met with a message saying the service is now part of Rhapsody and should give it a try.

Were you a user of Napster?

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Written by Gary Johnson

Gary has a background in engineering and passion for motorcycles, gadgets, and home cinema. In his early years, his obsession for Hi-Fi technology would see him creating the perfect setup with a good ear for sound quality. While Gary is keen to write about most topics that PR covers, his love for phones finds him reporting a lot of news about applications for iPhone, Android, and other popular operating systems

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