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20 MILLION-PLUS NAPSTER USERS SET LOOSE ON THE NET

It’s A Factory Close-Out! Everything Must Go! Only A Few Shopping Hours Left!
The scramble is on.

"God, god, god, I don't have enough time!" wrote a Napster subscriber known as LeatherNun, successfully summing up the general feelings of 20 million-plus music download fans.

As of midnight tonight Pacific time, barring a reprieve from the governor, downloading MP3 files via Napster will no longer be a possibility. The news has incited a mad race against the clock, as Napster users try to download everything they can before the deadline. According to Nielsen/Net Ratings, more than 92,000 people downloaded the Napster application on Thursday.

Traffic on the Napster site since the decision was handed down has been so heavy that downloads have been slowed to a crawl, even via the fastest broadband connections.

And those who aren't downloading from Napster are flooding related sites. And the techno-diaspora is wreaking havoc on servers. After surpassing 30,000 software downloads, the primary site for downloading Gnutella software (http://gnutella.wego.com) was so deluged on Thursday that it had to be taken offline temporarily, as a note on the site explained, "due to the unprecedented traffic volume following the Napster decision."

Disgruntled Napster fans also flooded the RIAA's web site with more than 30,000 individual hits, causing it to be shut down for nearly three hours.

Fans also poured into Scour's site (next on the litigation hit list), and the Napster chat rooms are buzzing with instructions directing downloaders to other sites and applications. The most popular is Gnutella, which unlike Napster, is not centrally located nor is it actually a company, just free software that facilitates peer-to-peer file trading.

Not that we're encouraging people to find other ways to continue file-sharing, but if one were to pursue file-sharing in the post-Napster world, one might do so via Napigator, FreeNet and iMesh, among others.

Napster clone CuteMX, perhaps fearing the fall of the legal hammer in its direction, closed down its file-sharing network. "We believe this is the proper thing to do," said Sandra Poole-Christal, president of GlobalSCAPE, parent company of CuteMX, "given the confusion over this technology in the market."

The words of the now disenfranchised Napsterites posted in the Napster chatroom, however, tell the tale best. "The good days are about to end folks," said cobe_backy.

"I wish I was dead," added xboy65.

Kn0wYourEnemie waxed rhapsodic, "Like Joni said, ‘You don't know what you got ‘til it's gone.'"

"Goodbye, Napster," said Alamoman.

Sid_Barrett seconded that sentiment: "Goodbye, Napster."

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