Opinion

Napster partnership doesn’t even dignify Mac users

There’s a relatively small group in the world often not provided with the advantages the rest of the public takes for granted. They find themselves last in line for basic supplies or even completely ignored.

Recently Student Government has supported this suppression and allowed it on campus. This University celebrates its diversity and differences, but still seems to trivialize this group.

I’m not talking about a racial, religious, or cultural minority; instead, I’m talking about a modern technological one: Mac users.

Student Government’s decision to partner with Napster completely ignores Mac users. While PC users are now free to stream Nelly and Good Charlotte songs to their hearts’ desire, Mac users must still travel the back alleys of the internet using programs like getTunes, or those whispered-about file sharing applications that aren’t blocked by the University network to find free music.

There must have been a way to open the door of legal music downloading to everyone.

Apple recently introduced iTunes on Campus for both Mac and PC platforms. While the program does not allow unlimited downloading and streaming like Napster, it does allow the songs to be burned on CD.

Better yet, they’re compatible with the popular iPod. The program allows colleges to distribute iTunes freely through its computer network. The iTunes music store is the industry leader and has the biggest catalog of music. However, students are only allowed to download a limited number of files the colleges buy at a cut-rate. The program at least introduces every student to legal downloading.

If cutting down on illegal downloading was the University’s goal, it could have also promoted web sites that supply free legal files of cutting edge music for everyone, like BetterPropaganda.com and Epitonic.com. Students would be opened up to new and diverse music and not have to worry about being fined.

By now the ink on the Napster contract is long dry, but the next time the University is faced with a similar decision it should take into account those of us who are no longer slaves to ctrl+alt+dlt and have joined the Mac minority.

Kyle Munzenrieder can be contacted at k.munzenrieder@umiami.edu.

September 3, 2004

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.