Napster ends service - now part of Rhapsody
2nd Dec 2011 | 08:01
Music download pioneer officially no more in US
Rhapsody has announced it has finished its acquisition of Napster and has merged the music service with its own.
Although the Napster name is synonymous with the early days of P2P sharing on the web, the final years of the service saw it go legit and turn its hand to music subscription – a far cry from the lawless business which was set up in 1999 by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker.
Now if you head over to Napster.com, all you get is a note explaining that it is finally part of Rhapsody – a merger that was announced back in October.
"Napster has joined Rhapsody," explains the website. "The number one subscription service is now even bigger."
Rhapsody is US-only and its asset-stripping of Napster now makes it a formidable force in the music-subscription world.
Given that Spotify has now launched in the US, it is a good move to make sure it keeps its crown as the number one US service.
Although this is a rather muted goodbye to a service that's synonymous with controversy, it's worth remembering that without Napster showing the music world that web distribution of music was the future, Rhapsody and the like wouldn't be around today.
Sean Parker spoke to Billboard in September about Napster and said: "We never really wanted to create a service to destroy the record business or hurt artists in any way. The goal was really to create a more frictionless system."
In a strange sort of way, they did.
Napster has contacted TechRadar to explain that while it has shut up shop in the US it is still going in the UK and Germany.