Napster observation and question (was Re: Huge drivespace Re: computing budgeting (fwd))

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From: Adam Rifkin (
Date: Sat Sep 09 2000 - 15:34:11 PDT

Beberg wrote:
> Napster has been hovering in the 3TB range for a long time now,

I'm not sure this is true. Remember that Napster is partitioned into
separate servers, according to the FAQ. In practice, each of them seems
to handle 5000-7500 simultaneous connections of people sharing their
libraries, and the average library has a half Gig of stolen tunes, hence
the 3TB we see when we login to Napster.

My understanding is that the Napster servers can't talk with each other,
which is why I'll often see someone in my hotlist offline even though
they are online (talking with me through AIM). As a result, I can't
instant message or share music with them -- that Napster, at its core,
doesn't scale to let the entire population simultaneously talk and share.

So... 3 Terabytes for 5000-7500 people sharing stuff per server,
but there are a bunch of servers. What are the numbers now, something
like 20 million users and 1 million simultaneous connects at peak?
What's that make, 200 servers? Let's double it, say 400 servers to
handle fault tolerance etc. 400 servers times 3 Terabytes is a lotta
stuff... if my assumptions are true. Anyone able to verify em or shoot
em down?

By the way, I'm noticing that a lot more of the tunes I'm downloading
from Napster are corrupted, cut short, or sound awful. Why is the
RIAA trying to shut down Napster through conventional means when they
could just launch a massive denial of service attack throwing in
mis-named and poorly recorded files all over the mix?

How could Napster or Gnutella route around damage if an ever-increasing
number of files are corrupted? By adopting trust domains and having
proper reputation management, for one. And for Napster, scaling so the
whole population can simultaneously talk and share in real-time
(something Gnutella can't inherently do because there's no notion of
identity so there's no way to have hotlists and favorite users and
instant messages). The P2P revolution is gonna have to become evolution
if it hopes to survive its own hype.


Despite recent reports that Meg Ryan is trying to salvage her marriage to Dennis Quaid, a British newspaper says that the actress has actually given up and countersued her husband for divorce. Sigh. Here we go again. --

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