June 25, 2018 / 4:03 AM

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Rhapsody Rebrands as Napster à la Early 2000s Peer-to-Peer Music Piracy Heyday



Hey! Remember the 2000s?!

Or, more specifically, late 1999? I think -- I can't be sure -- that I procured a grip of Weezer b-sides that year. Pretty sure I also scored "Don't I Hold You" by Wheat (not Wheatus) around that time. Where from, you ask? Well, from The Internet! What about you? You into Everclear?

Say, do you recall Napster? It was this rad program you could download onto your Digital brand PC that enabled you to obtain cool songs by artists you liked via peer-to-peer file sharing. Each song only took around an hour or two to download... and it was totally free! Although, sometimes the songs were mislabeled -- Blink-182 definitely never did "Seasons in the Sun."

If you're like me, you know the old story: Napster totally got sacked by "the Man." After getting ratted out by Lars Ulrich, founding dude Sean Parker had to throw the switch and shut it down. Napster ate dirt in July 2001 and nothing was ever the same again. I guess you can't just steal stuff from the creators of said stuff and expect everything to be hunky-dory. You wouldn't steal a car, would you?

So anyway, a strange statement was posted to music service Rhapsody's site yesterday:

"RHAPSODY IS BECOMING NAPSTER. No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!"

I'll let The Verge sum it up for you better than I ever could, what with their Grade-A 100 percent prime beef headline, "Rhapsody rebrands itself as Napster because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯":

"Rhapsody is part of the old guard of music streaming services, launched way back in 2001 as Listen.com. It never got the traction of it's rival Spotify, and is now competing against titans like Apple and Google as well. So now, in a bizarre move, Rhapsody is relaunching as Napster, the service it acquired in 2011 which is also synonymous with rampant file sharing and music piracy."

I literally have no clue.

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