has apologized to its users for “a temporary but dramatic” reduction in the number of songs available through its system. The company blamed problems with the implementation of new song-screening technology, according to a Yahoo! news
Meanwhile, the online music source is “forcing” all of its users to switch to the latest version of its software, the first to use the new screening technology known as acoustic fingerprinting, according to the story. Napster filters now examine music files’ content, rather than their user-defined filenames.
“As of Wednesday, June 27, we’re no longer supporting earlier versions of the Napster application,” the company wrote in an e-mail to users.
Users who haven’t yet upgraded to Napster version 1.0 Beta 2 aren’t allowed to log on to the system. You can download the Mac beta (a 3.3 M file) at the
Napster download site.
The company blamed the marked decrease in the number of songs available on efforts to “fine tune and verify” the acoustic fingerprinting technology, which it said “has never been implemented on such a scale before.” Acoustic fingerprinting is also at the heart of Napster’s plan to launch a new version of the service that will charge users a still-undetermined subscription fee and will in turn pay artists and labels for the use of their music, the article said.
“The new version of Napster, which CEO Hank Barry said will launch by the end of the summer, is also expected to include (for an additional fee) some major-label content via a deal with MusicNet, a joint venture involving EMI, Warner Music Group and BMG,” Yahoo! News reports. “When it launches in late summer or early fall, MusicNet will also be available via America Online and through software from MusicNet’s co-owner, RealNetworks.”