Will cds and cassettes soon become extinct like the 8 track and vinyl records? Well, that very well may become the case due to online music sharing. Music sharing has become the hottest, most popular thing now-a-days for teens and college students across the nation. This innovative idea is now caught in between a war of advocates and anti-advocates, courts have now become involved, which side are you on? I dont know about you but Im all for the online music sharing. Im for it simply because I am one who doesnt have a lot of time to go review and listen to cds to hear their potential.

I am a very busy person, and I am always on the run so I dont have the time to go to the record store and buy whole cds or the singles which is one of the pros of online music sharing. Online sharing is an excellent way to preview music before one would decide to buy it because if there arent any songs that arent liked by the listener then they would decide to buy the single and not waste money buying a whole album of an artist that they wouldnt like. But that factor is frowned upon by the music industry. Why? One may ask.

Because of online music sharing services such as Napster. Napster was started by accident by a college student trying to find a faster way to load and copy songs off of the internet. He some way found out how to load songs really fast. After finding out this information he put it on the internet so that other college students like himself who wanted to sample music could find it faster and easier just like he did. The Napster website is simply a free way of obtaining the songs wanted and to make mixed cds for themselves and others.

There are other sites (i. e. Morpheus, Aimster, Audio Galaxy) that offer their free music and sites to listen to any song of their choice. Currently the post-Napster tool of choice is Aimster. The name Aimster was cobbled from America Online Instant Messenger and Napster. Developed by John Deep of Troy, New York, Aimster software allows AIM users to offer other AIM users a way to locate and copy files on one anothers computers. Unlike Napster, AIM users are on one anothers buddy lists.

The index of files exists on each AIM users personal computer. When one AIM user wants to copy a file from a buddys computer, the transfer takes place between the two machines. Aimster has a search function that prowls the directory of the buddies computers. When it locates the desired file, the transfer takes place. The speed of the transfer depends on the bandwidth available to the machines. Otherwise, the request and transfer are almost instantaneous. Aimster uses ICQ, a popular messaging client, and AOLs Instant Messenger to detect buddies.

In order to prevent an Aimster-type of search-and-retrieve function from working, changes in the architecture of these programs would have to occur or Aimster users would have to be denied access to these popular services. (Arnold 1). With all the controversy going on, popular music artists as well have stood up to voice their opinions and stand against Napster. Online music sites have proven to be helpful to many and if they were so wrong then why are there so many available to the public and free of charge? Why are a large majority of people using it?

It’s one of the gutsiest venture capital investments ever. Napster, the file-sharing software company at the center of one of the Net’s biggest controversies, had no revenue but needed millions in private equity. Despite Napster’s overnight rise to fame and its potential to revolutionize the distribution of music, many VCs felt they couldn’t get comfortable backing the startup. Then Hummer Winblad stepped in. In May, the San Francisco-based firm led a $15 million round of funding–including $13 million of its own–and installed partner Hank Barry as Napster’s acting CEO and John Hummer as a board director.

Barry aims to turn Napster into a subscription service, eliminating the record companies’ chief grievance with Napster: that its technology allows millions to share recorded music for free (Park 1). People like me arent stealing the songs, were simply getting the songs that weve always wanted from a friend. Tell me, whats the difference between getting the songs and albums off the internet than getting them from a local friend of yours? Its basically the same things except that its on a more world wide type of sharing basis.

People have been doing it for years when they used to (and some still do) dub cassette tapes. The industry didnt have a problem with it then, so why a problem with it now? It was out there just not as prevalent as it is now. I dont agree with the record industry at all, why make and place music on material that they know can be copied on MP3s, other tapes, other cds? Napster, the digital music distribution service, has been temporarily shut down. A San Francisco judge ruled the service was encouraging wholesale infringing of record industry copyrights.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade body that represents record companies such as Warner and BMG, sued Napster in December accusing it of encouraging the illegal distribution of MP3s. The RIAA estimates that song swapping via Napster has cost the music industry more than $300 million in lost sales. For its part, Napster has denied this, saying its a community service which encourages the sharing of music for non-commercial purposes. Independent research from Jupiter Communications also showed that Napster encourages music sales.

While this ruling is a major blow, its by no means a fatal wound. It seems likely the music industry will eventually embrace Napster. (Internet Magazine 1). Its their fault and they should have to live with the mistakes they made. Dont go blaming the innocent people that have found a new way to get around their system before they did and now theyre upset. Theyve had control for years, they control the prices of the cds (many of which are just plain ridiculous), how many quantities are produced, what will be soon out of print, and so many other things.

Its about time that we the people took control of a small aspect of it and since we developed it, we should be allowed to use it and not be punished for it. And the online music sharing companies should go unpunished as well. Did they really do anything wrong? Theyre honestly giving the people what they want, none of those artists are truly losing a great heap of money, theyre just money hungry and want more of it. Well, were not rich, were regular Joes and we buy, get, and take what we can afford and freeeveryone can afford.

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