Soulseek Is The New Napster

Soulseek is the new Napster. This is something of a backhanded compliment; I was endlessly frustrated by the lack of features of the Napster client but, at the same time, the user-base was large enough that I was able to find some wonderfully obscure music and talk with people who were into the same long-dead independent label bands as I was.

When you pirate MP3s, you're downloading Communism.

It’s been more than four years since Napster shut down in March 2000. Most users moved to AudioGalaxy, which was superior in every way. Songs that were offline could be queued, it was easy to see which song was the band’s most popular, it could make suggestions for bands that were similar to the one you were searching for, and it could still recognise a song even if the filename had changed.

I wrote a tearful eulogy (posted here soon…) when AudioGalaxy was shut down, and it proved a kind of “tower of Babel” event for people sharing their MP3 collections. Users scattered to the four winds. Every half-bright teenager living in his parent’s basement released his own P2P client to talk to one of the many new decentralised file-sharing networks. And commercial software companies saw a golden opportunity to lock users into applications infested with spyware, then failed to see the irony in suing people who broke their copyright by re-releasing their software without spyware.

I’ve been recommending that people switch to Soulseek for the last year and a half, which is funny because I’ve only started using it in the last couple of days (you cease being an early adopter the day you leave university). Word on the geek grapevine has been strong though, and now I’ll add that the user-base is large enough for me to find most of the bands I want to check out, the client is free from spyware and, apart from the developers ignoring features AudioGalaxy had 3 years ago, this software is highly recommended.

Good things do not last. Soulseek’s heavily centralised design makes them an easy target for lawsuits. Expect this one to get shut down by the “powers that be” real soon now.

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5 Responses to “Soulseek Is The New Napster”

  1. matt Says:

    What’s with the poster? There’s nothing wrong with communism except that it evokes Adam Smith. There’s never been a communsit country either, they were all socialist.

  2. thewebguy Says:

    matt: are you ignorant or just an asshole? it is a joke

  3. Elliot Peppers Says:

    wtf you think this is a joke communijm can destroyability ur mind to oblivion man to teh extremith power man ur all weaksauce yu gotta stop dwnloading communism and ur mom on ur computer man buy ur mp3s the legal way not communism becuz if yu do then u will get in trouble wit the fda!!!!1

    ps i get taller when i switdch to med pax

  4. tor S-300 Says:

    Ha-ha-ha!!

  5. tor S-300 Says:

    Communism is a real power of the world. It will be back soon in Europe)))))