These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. The live online music company MelodyVR announced on Aug. Yes, that Napster. The same one that, if you are of a certain age, you might have used to download music illegally at the turn of the millennium. Its business model morphed over the years, but the Napster brand has never actually died. Today, it is a music streaming service with 3 million users. The original version of Napster burned brightly and briefly. It was created in June by the brothers Shawn and John Fanning, and founded as a business by Shawn and his friend Sean Parker, later the first president of Facebook. Never before had people had access to so much free music.
Napster was an online music store and a Rhapsody company, branded under the purchased name and trademarks of former free file sharing service Napster. The company's name and logo originated from bankruptcy liquidation of the Napster peer-to-peer file trading service,  which was shut down after a series of legal actions taken by the RIAA. The brand name was later purchased by Roxio , to capitalize on the popularity of the former service. Napster was later acquired by Best Buy. The service merged with Rhapsody in
Napster is a set of three music-focused online services. It was founded in as a pioneering peer-to-peer P2P file sharing Internet software that emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically audio songs, encoded in MP3 format. As the software became popular, the company ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement. It ceased operations and was eventually acquired by Roxio.
Figures scrawled on a whiteboard told how many people around the world had installed their file-sharing application and were using it to download music from each other's computers. As recounted in Downloaded — a documentary soon to premiere at the SXSW film festival , telling the story of a piece of software that came and went and whipped up a new digital music industry in its slip — Napster had 20 million users at the time. Some way from San Mateo, in suburban London I had just become one myself. I was 17, and the owner of an irregular music collection that numbered about 20 albums, most of them a real shame OMC's How Bizarre , the Grease 2 soundtrack.