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"File transfers have been temporarily suspended while Napster upgrades the databases that support our new file identification technology. Keep checking this space for updates."
——message on Napster's home page

NAPSTER FADES TO BLACK—
FOR NOW

If You Thought It Was Hard To Find Songs On Napster Before, Try It Now
Was that Lars Ulrich licking his lips?

Despite the concerted effort by the recording industry and select artists to shut Napster down, it was the company’s choice to do it themselves, albeit temporarily.

Napster's service was pulled off line Monday (7/2) as the company worked to transform itself into a subscription service.

"File transfers have been temporarily suspended while Napster upgrades the databases that support our new file identification technology," a message on Napster's home page said. "Keep checking this space for updates."

According to numerous reports, the file-sharer didn't say when its computer servers would come back online, and it wasn't clear exactly how the downtime related to the planned launch of a paid service, slated for later this summer.

The company has changed its policies towards its users who have traded MP3 files with no regard to copyright issues. The latest version of Napster, a forced upgrade to the system that no longer allows the use of previous versions of songs, contains new filtering technology to identify files accurately.

Napster is asking its users to download the latest version of its software, which uses audio fingerprinting technology.

"All previous versions of Napster have been disabled," a message said. "We're making this change as part of our ongoing effort to comply with the court's orders.''

Unfortunately for the company, it has seen usage drop off significantly as it has sought to comply with a March 5 injunction that barred the trade of copyrighted songs on the service.

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