I signed up as a subscriber to Napster when they launched in the UK in May 2004, and have been paying £9.99 a month to be able to stream* any of the million tracks available.
*I don't actually buy any albums as I have an uncanny ability to accurately memorise any music track I hear on my PC and replay it from my memory at any later date.
Naspter produced a magazine called FUZZ that was accessed via a tab on the Napster application.
FUZZ is a flash magazine that contains inteviews with various musicians. After a couple of months I was a bit annoyed to notice a new issue of the magazine had not been published. Other people also commented on the lack of new issues on the napster message boards.
The same issue of FUZZ was still available on the Napster application yesterday, whick makes it eight months old.
I have just downloaded a new version of the Napster application that has dropped the magazine tab completely.
But being the half-assed company they are they have forgotton to remove the Magazine tab from their tutorial.
I decided to investigate further and managed to sniff out the url of the magazine http://home.gb.napster.com/magazine/issue01/index.html.
After investigating the message boards I found that people were reporting seeing different magazines on different PCs. The only explanation I can think of is that the url of the magazine was somehow hard-coded into the application so you only saw a newer edition of the magazine when you installed a new version of the application on a different machine.
I managed to guess the URL of the US version of the magazines and found that there were four issues available for americans. (I'm not sure if they had the same problems with only ever seeing one issue!)
After looking at the American version I could see that the articles were the same as the ones in the UK version but in a different order.
I am assuming that US Napster has also removed the Magazine tab from their application and that Napster have given up on publishing the magazine.
But I womder of they dumped the magazine because of the low numbers on their weblogs? Did Napster even realise that very few people were ever seeing the new versions of their magazine?
Anyway for all of you music fans out there, here are the links to the UK and US magazine archive pages. David Allen Elsensohn went to a lot of trouble to put these together and it's only fair that they get a wider audience. Who knows, we may even see a new issue one day!