EDITORIAL – Napster: It’s back, in case you missed it

Students can no longer add classes, we made it through Hurricane Katrina, and we played and lost our first football game, yet most students on campus are still waiting for their Napster service to kick back in.

New freshmen, graduate, law and medical students who weren’t offered Napster last year have had the ability to enjoy full versions of their favorite songs since Aug. 22, but many returning undergrads have been frustrated with the 30-second tease Napster Lite currently offers them.

Despite Napster not working for so many students, not a word has come from Student Government, the Information Technology department or the Office of Student Affairs on what the problem is. This has left many students assuming that this service, that was so hyped last year, is now defunct.

So what is the status on Napster? Napster technical support initially blamed the problem on UM IT for not giving them the list of eligible users. UM IT hadn’t heard anything about there being a problem, let alone it being their fault. Student Government President Pete Maki said he had received a few e-mails from students, but no popular outcry. Meanwhile, Student Affairs thought the service, which it is currently paying for, was working normally. Basically, nobody really knew there was a problem. And students either figured we were cut off from Napster, or maybe they just reverted to their former illegal file-sharing days. Or could it be that people just don’t miss Napster that much. If that’s the case, then why are we spending so much money on it?

This mix-up and waste of nearly three weeks of listening time for people who do appreciate the service could easily have been avoided by doing one thing: communicating. One of the great perks of being a UM student is getting free stuff-music, movies, laundry, shuttle rides to the Grove. While the student body is sometimes thought of as being generally better off than many other campuses, there are still enough typical starving college students here that should be questioning when one of their freebies is taken away. And the administration could have sent a simple e-mail with re-registration instructions at the beginning of school to avoid this whole issue.

To their credit, the minute the issue was brought to their attention, Student Affairs was on the phone with Napster working to resolve it. It seems the solution to the problem was quite simple-re-registration. Students who used UM Napster last year simply need to go to https://spartan.tel.miami.edu/napster and follow the directions. New users can go to miami.edu/napster to download Napster and register. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?