Napster And IBM Offer Napster In A Box, To Offload Bandwidth

from the yes,-but-isn't-that-the-point-of-peer-to-peer? dept

It looks like the folks behind the new Napster have suddenly realized just one of the important ways that a peer-to-peer music sharing systems and centralized music download stores differ: with peer-to-peer, the provider doesn’t have to worry about bandwidth. With a download store, the store (such as Napster) has to deal with all the hosting and bandwidth themselves. Realizing this isn’t ideal, but unwilling to go a step further, Roxio (parent of Napster) has teamed up with IBM to offer a “super peer” technology – which is a bit misleading. They’re taking the name from peer-to-peer offerings, where super peers actually do matter. Here, they’re really just looking to create a duplicate of their download store (or at least the popular parts of it), closer to whoever is offering it. Thus, folks like Penn State and their personalized version of Napster can keep all their Napstering traffic within the Penn State network. The real benefit seems to be for Napster, who doesn’t have to deal with that bandwidth and hosting any more – though, there are some marginal benefits for companies/universities hosting it as well.

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