Published Dec 01, 2011When Napster opened in 1999, it changed the music industry forever by making digital tracks available through online peer-to-peer file sharing. It comes as a milestone, then, that the company has been bought out by on-demand service Rhapsody and is shutting down all operations.
CNN reports that, as of today (December 1), Rhapsody has acquired control of Napster from its current owner, Best Buy. Rhapsody will absorb all Napster subscribers and other assets, and Best Buy will receive a minority stake in Rhapsody. Go to Napster's website and you'll be funnelled to Rhapsody's homepage.
In a practical sense, the closing of Napster won't have a big impact on the music industry. The company's time as a groundbreaking peer-to-peer service ended way back in 2001, following a legal battle with the RIAA, Metallica and Dr. Dre.
Since then, Napster has operated as a for-pay subscription service and online MP3 store, and it has been outperformed by other legal services like iTunes, Spotify and Rhapsody. Still, even if it's been a shell of its former self for years, we'll always remember the first time we logged on 12 years ago and had our minds blown.