Napster Essay

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September of 1980 was a revolutionary time for the music industry. That was when Sony released the first Compact Disc. In the next few years the CD began to replace cassette tapes. Now music lovers would not have to deal with the tedious task of rewinding tapes any more. Cd’s could store over twice the music with higher quality sound. Now fast-forward 20 years. It is possible to pull out a cell phone, and download an entire album of your favorite artist, all while waiting in line for your coffee. iPhones and other smart phones have revolutionized the way we live. Yet what sparked this current need for these devices? In 1999, Shawn Parker released the computer program Napster. Napster was a P2P file-sharing network. That is basically a way for people to share music with each other without having to buy it. Shortly after Napster was released the music industry noticed sharp declines in record sales, and immediately shut down the program claiming copyright infringement. The entire affair was very public, so the few people who had not heard of Napster were now joining the revolution. In the years following Napster, similar programs appeared on the Internet. Meanwhile consumers stopped buying cd’s from stores, and just made their own at home with downloaded music. The public did not want to have to buy a fifteen dollar cd, when they only wanted to listen to the one hit song they heard on the radio. There was still one problem though; consumers had to carry all their cd’s around if they wanted to listen to their music. October 2001 was when the first iPod was released. The iPod changed the music industry the day it was released. Now people had a simple, compact way, to carry thousands of their favorite songs. The release of the iPod only added fuel to the Napster train. The illegal music industry was unstoppable now. Every time a company was shut down, four more

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