Mass Defect writes: Snocap, the company created by Shawn Fanning and a few ex-napster engineers has been acquired by imeem, a company set up by some less famous ex-Napster engineers. Snocap had been struggling and began looking for a buyer since last fall when it laid off 60% of its staff, Shawn had already left to found Rupture and also brought a number of close friends with him. Meanwhile imeem had become popular with a site which in essence was 'youtube for music' and had been using their audio fingerprinting and music database to act as a filter to determine who should get paid when users uploaded their favourite artists. Snocap also provided the official music store application for myspace, given myspace's history of censoring links to imeem on their site, and the forthcoming launch of myspace's music site which will directly compete with imeem I expect myspace to terminate this deal in the near future.
I always knew there was more to Napster than Shawn and the kitty logo, and now we're seeing imeem as a true sucessor to the Napster lineage. Imeem is far more faithful to the original Napster experience than the music site created by Roxio and branded Napster 2.0.
Mass Defect writes: "While the RIAA continues to sue people for p2p file sharing the record labels have made an about face and given their blessing to users sharing mp3's via the social networking site imeem.com. In May this year the site was being sued by Warner for running a site which allowed users to upload photos, videos and music to share on the site. However to everyone's amazement, instead of being sued out of existence, the site managed to convince the label that this free promotion was a good thing, and in July signed a deal with the label. Since then the site has added Sony, BMG,EMI and now the biggest fish of them all Universal. Imeem now has the royal flush of record labels supporting its media sharing service, each getting a cut of the advertising revenues generated by their catalogue. Finally someone has figured out a way to do 'youtube for mp3s' without getting lawsuited out of existence."
youngsteve writes: "With Amazon launching its DRM free music service and Virgin closing their service it would appear that selling music with limitations is becoming a losing proposition. However a number of companies have done the next logical thing and started giving away music supported by advertising revenues. imeem.com has been running a 'youtube for music' style site for the last couple of years and recently 'went legit' when they signed deals with Warner Brothers and Sony/BMG the music is high quality, on demand and user supplied which makes it feel a lot like the original Napster. Spiralfrog goes beyond browser based streaming and provides downloads of DRM protected windows media files (it's restricted to Internet Explorer users in North America) which allow you to load them onto some mp3 players but you're not allowed to burn them to CD. A third ad supported service — QTrax has yet to do much beyond press releases. So is there a market that will accept this restricted content because it's available for free, or is it a halfway step between p2p and paid downloads that has no place in the market."
ethos writes: "On the heels of amazon's new digital store and the demise of virgin's DRM laden effort comes the news that social media site imeem.com has inked a deal with Sony/BMG to allow the use of their music on imeem. Imeem has been running their 'youtube for everything' website for over a year and recently added Warner brothers music to their repetoire in addition to the usual list of indie labels that these internet ventures inevitably acquire. imeem differs from other online music sites because the tracks are uploaded by users and after upload imeem figures out which organizations own the copyright and whether they have allowed imeem to stream the music and in exchange the copyright holders get a cut of the advertising generated by the website. Because the music is uploaded by users the quality is variable, but it appears to be CD quality at best, unlike the typical low quality streams that some stream only sites used to offer, it certainly seems like an innovative approach, but there are still gaps in their selection as no deal has yet been made with the other major labels."