It’s 2000 and peer-to-peer poster boy Napster is in the courts. Metallica, lead by drummer Lars Ulrich, has waged war on the site because the band’s songs were being downloaded by users for free.
Napster eventually settled but it was the beginning of the end for that iteration of the service. By 2001, Napster, which boasted 26 million users, was gone – torn apart by record company lawsuits.
This should have been music to Metallica’s ears but the backlash was severe. Napster fans felt Metallica singled Napster out, when it was just one of many P2P services that were sharing music illegally. They also felt Metallica was trying to stymie the future of music – a future where millions of tracks are available to all at the press of a button.
Napster, and MeQ Inc., creator of Even and the Even EarPrint, have launched the first fully-personalized listening experience within a music streaming service. Starting today, Napster subscribers on iOS can create a customized sound experience, the Even EarPrint, directly within the Napster application with any pair of earphones or headphones. The Even EarPrint set up takes approximately 90 seconds. Once a Napster subscriber completes an EarPrint, he or she automatically hears music tuned to his or her unique hearing, in real time.
“We are excited to partner with Napster to offer our breakthrough Even EarPrint to millions of Napster listeners,” said Danny Aronson, CEO and co-founder of Even. “Even’s EarPrint technology challenges the two basic precepts of personalized audio — that we all hear the same way and that we all have perfect hearing. The integration between Even and Napster is a first-of-its-kind capability that allows us to bring the breakthrough Even listening experience to many more people.” Continue reading Even, Napster Launch First-Ever Personalized Sound Feature within a Music Streaming Service
Today, file sharing is second nature. The sanctity of intellectual property is at the mercy of Dropbox, Google Drive, and, above all, our own individual moral codes (which, judging by the financially strapped music industry, aren’t very high). Piracy is a culturally permissible form of theft, and even those that have never pirated anything are expressly familiar with the technology that made the practice popular: Napster.
Jazzy Jeff: “Napster was the most genius musical idea in the past 60 years. But our record industry was so selfish and was making so much money, it never looked at the idea itself and just shut it down, which I think was the biggest mistake in music.”