Ideas on how to change Napster.

From: Adam Rifkin (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 20:48:43 PST

Okay, I give up, I can't search for music in Napster anymore.

But I *can* add people to my "favorite people" Hot List, and
then peruse the libraries of the people on my Hot List, and
then doubleclick on music in their libraries to download them.

To take advantage of this Napster should add:

   1. The ability to peruse the Hot Lists of people on my Hot List, and
      so on. This would allow us to navigate the space of people with
      music we like, view their favorite people, and then peruse THEIR
      libraries for downloads. Imagine that, clicking from person to
      person like we're used to clicking from webpage to webpage.

   2. Searchable profiles for users. In the profile we could say what
      artists we like; if Napster let us search *profiles* instead of
      libraries, then we search for people with similar tastes to our
      own, not for particular songs. Then of course we could peruse the
      libraries of the people we searched for, and if they happened to
      contain stuff we liked, so be it.

The injunction probably prevents both of these, eh?

Then again, there's no reason Napster couldn't be a Web app as long
as everyone who plays is willing to run their own Web server. (I think
this is a Dave Winer idea. Would it be so hard for the average citizen
to run their own Web server? Probably, in a world of NATs and firewalls
and paranoia about exposing one's own desktop.)

In a world where everyone runs their own Web server, searching basically
amounts to Googling.


P2P is simply another step in the evolution of the internet, not the terrific buzz-worthy quantum leap that it's been hyped. This doesn't mean it's not interesting -- the opportunities made feasible when every computer is a server are potentially thrilling -- it just doesn't feel like the New New Thing. -- March 18, 2001

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