Napster, for those of you too young to remember, was the internet's first major assault against the music industry.
Basically, it was a site that allowed you to illegally download all the music you wanted. Yeah, people used to have to actually go and buy music. How disgusting is that?
Anyway, Napster was sued into oblivion by record companies, and it went bankrupt in 2002 -- but not before becoming a household name and instigating a huge paradigm shift in the how we think about acquiring our music.
At the time, Napster was one of the first and only companies openly engaged in this practice, so taking it down was pretty simple for record companies. Unfortunately for them (and luckily for us), after it went defunct, sites just like it popped up everywhere, and the music industry slowly became what it is today: an industry where consumers really don't want to spend money on the product at all.
Streaming services Spotify and Pandora are responses to this shift. So is, to a much lesser degree, Rhapsody, which bought Napster in 2011.
And now, to boost Rhapsody's brand recognition, it is going to rename itself “Napster.”
Yes, ladies and gentlenerds, Napster is back. Albeit in a weird, roundabout way.
Rhapsody explained the changes the service will undergo to its clients, saying,
So, basically no change at all. Just the name. Still -- I know it doesn't make sense -- but I can't help myself: I think I'm pretty excited. Now I'm just waiting for Kazaa.