Top definition
The program that practically led the file-sharing movement.

Napster was undoubtedly the greatest peer-to-peer program ever created, allowing millions of net users to download their favorite music at a price substantially smaller than the jacked up prices the RIAA makes us shell over. The price? Free.

Unfortunately, when someone decided to complain that they weren't getting $97 out of the millions they make every week, the RIAA decided to use that as an excuse to terminate Napster, thus forcing the legendary Shawn Fanning to turn the program into what is now the equivalent of O-Town: something we wish just died altogether.

Today there are some commendable file-sharing programs that, while doing their job, cannot match up to what Napster has brought to all of us.
Napster needs an example?
by [str33t NiNj4] December 27, 2003
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2
A peer-to-peer filesharing client.
Peer to peer services operate by allowing other users to access files on a specially portioned off area of a person's hard drive, their share folder. The so called peer-to-peer client ia a piece of software that searches and compiles various indices of content sontained on the shared areas of everybody who looks on them.

Napster was by far the most useable of any of these servces because it hadf central servers which naturally optimised the whole process of searching and downloading immensely. However, thanks to a legal decision, peer-topeer networls which used central servers became illegal: If stolne copyright material passes through your server, you are technically handling stolen good, although the interpretation of this law has been subjected to harsh criticism.

Nowadays, a new breed of eer-to-peer service has evolved. It is serverless, for the most part, ith certain machines functioning as nodes on a temporary basis. They are more accurately peer-to-peer than napster was, but unfrtunately, they are also far more unreliable.
Napster has since been reborn as a pay-per-download service. However, it has proven unpopular, partly due to the increasing popularity of serverless networks, but also thanks to the influence of competing legal networks, including the omnipresent Itunes.

Technically, Napster and it's fellows don't have to be used to share music. any kind of file could be shared. But this has evolved into their primary use.

The legality of file sharing is clear cut, unfortunately. sharing music files is illedal. Whether or not it is moral is a matter of debate, and there and eben much hot air between the RIAA and some smaller music distributors. The future of file-sharing and MP3's as legal services or otherwise is uncertain. NOe thign, however, is certain, the actual technologies go from strength to strength, becoming increasingly decentralised until it's impossible to combat them.

There you go. If you're looking for a more or less accurate layman's description of Napster and fileshairng, there you go. To sample some of the debate, see everybody else's posts for this entry.
Napster was a peer-to-peernetwork
Napster was a P2P network
by Sam B May 03, 2004
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3
Once a free Mp3-trading site, which ACTUALLY had a shitload of excellent-quality independent music, but thanks to the Record Industry Assfuckers of America (RIAA), Napster was quickly killed, and its charred and decomposed corpse was turned into a crappy pay site in 2003 which, unfortunately, doesn't even have any songs that are worth downloading anymore.
the "Napster" that's advertized on TV is not Napster, but some inferior-quality pay-per-download service disguised as Napster.
by sarcastic December 05, 2003
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4
You can all thank the RIAA for Napster's death, because its incredibly stupid and costly efforts to destroy Napster have helped make file trading far more popular than ever.
If only the corporate fatasses empraced Napster instead of killing it. Now they can't do a goddamn thing about stopping all those bootleggers and hackers they pissed off.
by sarcastic May 26, 2003
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5
A person who is napping a lot, usually unintended, like in a weird or inappropriate situation. Those people are called the napster.
She: "Sorry, I totally passed out last night"
He: "It's okay sweetie, you're just the napster"
by quitzlipochtli May 03, 2010
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6
To originally promise something and then later go back on your word; to cheat.
That son of a bitch! I gave him money to buy the damn CD but he napstered me!
by ComradeDave November 08, 2006
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7
A formerly Peer-to-Peer file sharing network, but thanks to the RIAA it has since become legal and the files I download aren't compatible with my iPod
Fuck the RIAA, now I have 1000 songs I can't do anything with. Great.
by Biddy July 16, 2005
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