Need someone to lead product or development at your software company? I lead product and engineering teams and I'm looking for my next opportunity. Check out my resume and get in touch.

Napster Alternative

Freshness Warning
This article is over 20 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current.

I’ve been playing with a new software package. You may be familiar with
Napster, the software that lets
you share MP3 files with other people. The concept behind Napster is that
there is a central server that maintains a database of MP3 files that
are on Napster user’s computers. Using Napster, you can search that database
for music which you then download directly from other user’s computers.

The music industry is
trying to put a stop
to Napster. They say that it facilitates music
piracy. Corporations and universities
are also trying to stop
Napster use because lots of users transferring
large music files has begun to cause network performance problems. Some
people suspect that the music industry has put pressure on universities
to shut down Napster use, and that network performance is just an excuse.

Corporations, universities, and--ultimately--governments can shut down
Napster use by stopping network traffic that uses the ports, protocols,
and addresses of the Napster service. Doing so is a relatively simple
task and has proven effective at stopping Napster use at several universities.

Enough of the history lesson.

What I’ve been playing with is Gnutella.
Gnutella also allows users to share MP3s--and other files--with each other.
The difference between Gnutella and Napster (and Napster copycats like
CuteMX) is that Gnutella doesn’t use
a central server. I connect my Gnutella client to a few people, who are
connected to a few more people, who are connected to a few more people,
ad nauseum. It is just one giant web of interconnected computers, with
each computer acting as a server. Since there is no central server, there
is no server that universities can deny access to.

The Gnutella client can also connect over any port you choose. This makes
it even more difficult for somebody to shut it down. Kind of like those
garage remotes that change codes every time they are used to keep people
from stealing your code.

The other thing that makes it difficult for somebody to stop Gnutella
is that Gnutella is not owned by anyone. The code was developed by the
guys that developed WinAmp and
released under the Gnu Public License as an open source project. That
means the software is owned by and maintained by the public. And even
the recording industry can’t sue everyone on Earth.

Your comments:

Text only, no HTML. URLs will automatically be converted to links. Your email address is required, but it will not be displayed on the site.


Not your company or your SEO link. Comments without a real name will be deleted as spam.

Email: (not displayed)

If you don't feel comfortable giving me your real email address, don't expect me to feel comfortable publishing your comment.

Website (optional):

Recently Written

A framework for onboarding new employees (May 15)
There’s no single good way to onboard an employee that works for every role. Here's a framework for creating a process that you can adapt to each situation.
TV hosts as a guide for software managers (May 10)
Software managers can learn a lot from journalists or late night TV hosts and how they interview people.
The Improvement Flywheel (Apr 29)
An incredible flywheel for the improvement of a development team. Fix a few things, and everything starts getting better.
Managers and technical ability (Dec 26)
In technical fields, the closer you are to the actual work being done, the closer your skills need to resemble those of the people doing the work.
Dysfunctions of output-oriented software teams (Sep 17)
Whatever you call it, the symptom is that you're measuring your progress by how much you build and deliver instead of measuring success by the amount of customer value you create.
Evaluative and generative product development (Aug 30)
Customers never even talk to the companies that don't fit their needs at all. If the only product ideas you're considering are those that meet the needs of your current customers, then you're only going to find new customers that look exactly like your current customers.
Product Manager Career Ladder (Aug 19)
What are the steps along the product management career path?
Building the Customer-Informed Product (Aug 15)
Strong products aren't composed of a list of features dictated by customers. They are guided by strong visions, and the execution of that vision is the primary focus of product development.


What I'm Reading


Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497


Public Key

© 1999-2020 Adam Kalsey.