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Channels: digital music : file sharing : gnutella: napster
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Watch your transfers, kid*
As you've presumably figured out by now the upload status display is where you can monitor and control the files other users are taking from your shared files library. If you don't want somebody downloading a particular file you can give them the boot. If you feel like it you can even sit and watch the progress of your visitor's transfers all day long. I'm not sure why you would want to - but you could if you wanted to. Maybe it would be fun.

 
 Exhibit A - I wonder what the chances are that this would happen in real life?

Get Social
This one place where using Napster can become a social thing - if you feel like socializing, of course, that is. How so? Lets say you've just started up a Napster session, found a song you want to download and started the process. As you watch the file downloading in the transfer window you notice something kind of neat happen: A stranger has connected to you and is downloading a file. A lot of people report feeling a little freaked when this happens the first time. After all, a complete stranger has just strolled onto your hard drive and is in there somewhere, rummaging about and looking at things.

Hmmm....this person likes my music collection
When you think about it chances are pretty good that this person likes the same kind of music you do. After all they do seem to like what you have in your library. They may well even be clued in to stuff you don't know about.

Say "Hello"
At this point you can do one of two things. If you happen to be feeling incredibly friendly you can say hi.
Just send an instant message addressed to the user name of the person who is downloading the file. Maybe they'll message back. Maybe they won't. Maybe you'll make a special new Napster friend.



Investigate
Or alternatively, you can do what most people do: bop over to that person's hard drive and see what they have in their library. Yes, it's true that occasionally you will be horrified by what you find and turn around and flee. Twenty-six seperate versions of one bad song? It happens. We've seen it.
But it is also true that you may find songs and artists you never would have found otherwise. If you find yourself interested in more than a few songs in your new aquaintance's library add them to your hotlist.

Next up - surf napster, live longer

* Just so you know: I mean kid in the best possible way. If you don't like being called kid I don't blame you at all. But please - don't be insulted. This is a reference to the work of a songwriter I've always liked. My way of paying homage.... Since I can't write him a song I wrote him a headline.

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