I built and ran this website between 2000 and 2001, combining passion for popular music and programming. It was listed by MTV's now defunct MusicNewswire as one of the then nascent web's top twenty sources, alongside Billboard and VH1. The most exciting part of it — for a 13/14-year-old excited by new music — was receiving scores of pre-release CDs from record companies. The entire project was written entirely from scratch (frameworks and libraries were not the norm back then!) in PHP linking to a MySQL database, with HTML as well as a little CSS and JavaScript for the frontend; the code is available here.

Girish Gupta

Music Goes On


Napster Is Back Online
29 July 2000 | 0:00:00 GMT/UTC

Napster has been handed a reprieve from the court order that would have forced it to close down its file-sharing technology that allows an estimated 20 million users to access and swap mp3 files on their computers. The decision will allow the software to continue to operate until Napster's legal appeals are heard, which won't happen until mid-September at the earliest.

Napster founder, John Fanning said: "I am happy and grateful that we do not have to turn away our 20 million users and that we can continue to help artists, we'll keep working and hoping for the best."

In Napster's appeal, their attorneys claimed that the company would be forced to shut down its service completely. The RIAA said that granting Napster's appeal would allow "massive copyright infringement" to continue.

Earlier in the day, Napster announced a 'buy-cott weekend' campaign, urging users to purchase CD's over the weekend (29/30 July). This is to prove Napster's claim that file sharing increases CD sales. "We believe that file sharing among music fans helps to create a larger community of passionate music lovers, which allows the industry to sell even more music to fans. To prove just how much our users love music and to show the buying power of such a large group of music fans we are asking all of our users to walk in or log in to their favourite record store and buy a CD by an artist they love."

The RIAA remains confident, "The Court of Appeals apparently regards this case as the first of its kind, and wants to consider it before any injunction takes effect. It is frustrating, of course, that the tens of millions of daily infringements occurring on Napster will be able to continue, at least temporarily. In fact, since the district court issued its order, the illegal downloading of copyrighted music openly encouraged by Napster has probably exceeded all previous records."

Napster spokesperson Roy Dank said use of the service has been at "an all-time high" since Wednesday's court decision, a rush by users to download as many files as possible before the deadline. The fear of Napster shutting down has made many users to look for alternatives like Gnutella.

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