Napster, Live Longer
posted by netwebly
Most people new to Napster make the mistake of assuming that Napster's
search function is the best way to find music. This is far from true.
Sure, it's a lot of fun just sitting at your computer and typing in the
names of different songs and different bands and seeing what happens,
but there will probably come a time when all that thinking and all that
typing starts feeling a little too much like work.
thing to do is to free yourself from all those endless pages of search
results filled with stuff you don't want and stuff you don't need. To
do this you're going to have to use a new approach - one that experienced
Napster masters use most of the time.
along these lines. Napster is a network. Sure it's a distributed network
- but it's a network nonetheless, the distributed thing is just a detail.
Hence Napster can be surfed - just like the web. It can be explored. And
it can be conquered. All we need is a board. Or more accurately, something
that works sorta like a board.
your surfboard: The hotlist
something is your hotlist - the deceptively named feature that allows
you to both keep track of the people you find on Napster and explore their
music collections. Used
correctly, the hotlist will give you a headstart when it comes time to
go out and start searching for new music. Many Napster users build up
pretty sizable lists of names for their hotlists. Some even have hundreds
or even thousands of users hotlisted.
reason they do this? So they can surf instead of spending hour after hour
Try it out
does this work? It's easy. Start by coming up with a brief list of songs
you like. Whatever your musical tastes are, chances are good you'll be
able to find at least a couple of them using a straightforward search.
Add people to your hotlist until you have populated a nice fat little
start browsing through the files the people you've added to your hotlist
are sharing. You'll notice a couple of things right away.
average Napster user is sharing a lot of files, in some cases well near
a thousand. Using the hotlist, you'll be able to browse through all of
them - exploring different collections and downloading songs that sound
Curious to know what Mother Love Bone sound like? Click. Never knew there
was a Smashing Pumpkins cover of Won't Get Fooled Again? Click. Stunned
to learn that Axel Rose once did a 65-minute rendition of Sitting on the
Dock of the Bay? Click...
an hour surfing Napster and you will quickly come to an inevitable conclusion,
a conclusion that has a couple of distinct corollaries: There
is more music out there than you ever would have thought possible.
Music you don't hear on the radio. Music you don't find in the cd store.
In short, music you never would have known about if it wasn't for Napster.
the really interesting thing? A lot of this music is good. A surprisingly
high percentage of it, in fact. The reason for this: most people delete
bad music - which in my opinion is the way it ought to be. And most don't
bother ripping filler in the first place. Few invest the time and energy
it takes to rip all the tracks off a cd, unless they're hard-core. They
rip the good stuff. And then they go do something else - and you end up
with the musical equivalent of the Darwinian Theory of Natural Selection
you'll find plenty of people out there with what can only be described
as questionable taste in music. But guess what? You're going to find that
you enjoy listening to bad music at times - in the same way real movie
fans get hyped about watching really bad movies. As long as you have control,
its an adventure. It's when people start forcing you to listen
to bad music that the trouble starts....
other conclusion you'll likely draw - and this is where we start having
some real fun - at heart, people have very strange taste in music. The
complete freedom Napster allows encourages the exploration of those tastes
in ways never before possible.
As you surf, you'll start noticing weird things. Things like people with
huge collections of bubble gum pop interspersed with ironic little Camper
Van Beethoven classics. Country music fans with an incestuous thing going
on the side for Courtney Love. Rap fans listening to Bach. Bach fans listening
Rap. How does this happen? What's going on? What is this going to mean
for future generations?
you have any imagination at all, the questions will keep coming. Who are
these people? What do they look like? Are they dangerous? Are they fun?
What sort of jobs do they have? What do they do when they're not using
sociological questions all. And someday somebody will answer all of them.
But's it not going to be me - not today anyway. I'm out of time now. Enjoy.
come back soon...
- but wait...this sounds really bad
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