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Wednesday
Nov132013

The New Napster: Mobile File-Sharing

As the rise of mobile messaging apps take over the current mobile user population, the ways fans interact with music are changing. Historically, file-sharing takes place over the desktop computer through a P2P software such as BitTorrent. The user opens the music files into iTunes and they have expanded their music library for free.

Many mobile users are starting to figure out how to download music through mobile messaging applications and their smartphones. Transitioning from desktop file-sharing to mobile file-sharing will take a bit of time for users to catch up but the new Napster is already out there.

Napster and Music

Napster was launched by it’s co-founders, Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker and John Fanning in 1999. The service allowed users to send files to each other through the software. As the service became more popular, it made it onto the radar of the record labels. Since Napster wasn’t paying any royalties on the songs that were being downloaded through their software, they were liable and the record labels and other music industry organizations filed lawsuits.

These lawsuits ultimately led to the bankruptcy and end of Napster but the repercussions of file-sharing were just starting.

WhatsApp and Music Downloads

With over 350 million monthly active users within their platform, WhatsApp is one of the largest mobile messaging applications on the planet. The application allows users to communicate with each other through the messaging interface. The most interesting aspect of the application, in my opinion, is their reluctance to sell ads.

While there are many mobile messaging applications available, WhatsApp is one of the easiest to send music to your friends (aka the new Napster). The application offers little distraction in terms of stickers, games and other “traditional” means of social activity. Since listening to music is a social activity, it’s not surprising to see WhatsApp users sharing music with each other.

It does make it a lot more handy to trade and share music you’re listening to with you friends. There are a few ways you can send music to your friends using WhatsApp.

The first way is through iPhone Explorer. **Please note this way is only for an iPhone.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Install WhatsApp on your Iphone through the App Store.
  2. Install iPhone Explorer on your Mac or PC.
  3. Using the Explorer locate the WhatsApp application folder.
  4. Then copy the MP3 you want to send to the the media folder for any of the contacts you have listed within the application. Then you can forward it to whomever you want.

The second way you can send music using WhatsApp can be used on both iPhone and Android devices.

  1. Install WhatsApp on your device using either the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).
  2. Install Google Drive on both your desktop computer (Mac or PC) and on your device (iOS or Android).
  3. Now make a folder on your Google Drive called “Music” (or whatever you’d like to call it).
  4. Drop the song you would like to send in it.
  5. You’ll see the song appear on your iPhone Google Drive folder.
  6. Now try to open the file on your device. It should say that it is unable to because the file type is not supported.
  7. Click Open In underneath the file image and it should show a pop-up that says Open in WhatsApp. Click that icon.
  8. Select the contact you would like to send the song to.
  9. Congratulations you just shared a free song with your friend.

With either option presented above, you are able to send an MP3 to a friend via WhatsApp. There are other options including just sending an email with an MP3 attached but you are allowed to share a song with a friend in the midst of a conversation using the application.

Now someone just needs to invite a device-to-device file sharing program…

The New Napster: Mobile File-Sharing

Reader Comments (1)

Hmmm, interesting way to use these apps. I wonder if there are any smart bands out there using them to get fans details at gigs.

You could offer to message your next single to them for free in return for their number. That way when you come to a town near them you can message them to let them know.

November 13 | Unregistered CommenterKyle Cullen

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