A few years ago there used to be a download site called Napster, which allowed something called ‘File Sharing’. In effect, this allowed someone who had music stored on their computer (in .mp3 format) to share it with anyone else who belonged to Napster. It was like a community with millions of people from all aver the globe sharing their music for free. You just chose a folder on your computer where you kept your music files and allowed other members to browse your folder to see if there was anything they’d like a copy of replica watch. Provided you were both online at the same time, members could look at your music files and download the ones they wanted. You could even send instant messages to each other if you wanted to. I remember seeing a name pop up as someone downloaded a Radio London jingle from me. It turned out to be a long lost DJ friend of mine!
As broadband was not as commonplace as it is today it might take 15 minutes or so to download a song. The worse thing was if the person you were downloading from decided to go offline, you didn’t get the file you wanted.
Anyway, along came the powers that be and after a lengthy court case, Napster was forced to close as the record industry wasn’t too happy that people were getting their music for free. (It was at this point that I gave up file sharing as I hadn’t realised I was doing something illegal.) Undeterred, lots of other sites sprouted and file sharing continued – illegally.
Since then, many legal sites have started up. Virgin have their own site and so do Apple for people who own an iPod. (little gizmo for storing hours and hours of mp3′s) Napster has just reopened their site too, only this time it’s legal. All these companies charge a fee to download single tracks or even whole albums. The only trouble is you can’t get every track from every site. It depends on which record company they’ve made deals with.