Napster, the pioneering and controversial peer-to-peer music sharing service that exploded onto the Internet scene in the summer of 1999, is officially gone.
Leading U.S. music service Rhapsody announced last month it was buying out Napster for an undisclosed amount from Best Buy, which acquired the service in 2008.
Napster now has been melded into Rhapsody, which has 800,000 paid subscribers but can use all the additional ones it can get in battling Spotify, Google, Apple, Amazon and others in the fast-changing streaming and cloud-based world of music services (See also: "Apple iCloud vs. Amazon Cloud Drive"). Rhapsody has said Napster users will be given equal credits for their Napster credits.
Napster initially operated for about two years before the company and its MP3-swapping users got whacked with countless lawsuits from the recording industry and music acts. Napster resurfaced through several acquisitions before landing with Rhapsody.
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