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a team of 15 can't build version 2 for years

Maybe so.  But might be for reasons out of their control
rather than their laziness or incompetancy.

The music studio might be giving them a hard time or they have legal issues or they have yet to solve the piracy problem.  Whatever.

I mean, the company might be facing some undisclosed problem that cannot be solved even if they have 150 people and 20 years.  Don't be so harsh. :-)

Amour Tan
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

I agree.

Evgeny Goldin
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

What no doubt happens at these companies is they're so dispirited that they just accept paychecks.  I mean, they're not making the Next Great Thing.  So they let themselves be led by many conflicting orders instead of making something that is truly good.

A smart team might have just made a flexible piece of software that wasn't hard to configure to be legal.  But I think they didn't care any longer.

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Comparing the design and programming of a simple peer-to-peer application (and complementary server) and a Napster system that integrates DRM, subscriptions and other measures is pure folly. 

It is obvious there are many more things to worry about in the latter case.  Since Sean's original application was completely open to any type of sharing, it was much simpler.

I wouldn't blame the software team for the release delays.  It's more likely the suits protecting their multi-billion dollar industry.  With the can of worms that Napster represents, can you blame them?

And what better way to drive a software company into the ground than constantly changing requirements so that they never release a product?

Ryan Lowe
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

I never understood what Napster's dev team was busy doing. Each new "beta" version was just as crappy as the previous, yet had no new features. I guess Napster 1.0 had just the right feature set to please users (ie free music). None of the new "features" (DRM, subscriptions) were actually things users wanted. They were just things Napster the company wanted.

The company should have just canned their dev team and saved a couple million dollars per year. Use the money to hire more lawyers.

Zwarm Monkey
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

"Each new "beta" version was just as crappy as the previous"

I used Napster for a couple of months.  I liked it.  It was a bit crude, but I never had any difficulty finding the music I liked.

After Napster went belly-up, I tried AudioGalaxy and Morpheus.  The user-interfaces for both these products were *much* worse than Napster's UI.  I hated using them, and I haven't downloaded any songs in about a year.

J. D. Trollinger
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Has your spending on CDs gone up since you stopped downloading songs?

Adrian Gilby
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

My spending is same as before - $0.

If there is free song, I listen to free song.

If there is no free song, I simply don't listen.  Instead, I listen to radio, go gym or surf the net.

Amour Tan
Thursday, September 5, 2002

I used Napster to do some "try before you buy" thing. I bought about 5 CDs based on this criteria. Not much, mind you, but far more than before Napster (2.)

Now call me cheap, but I like to be sure before spending 15 dollars in anything (that's what a CD costs here)

Leonardo Herrera
Friday, September 6, 2002

This observation is quite true. I have seen it happen quite a few times. I think it might be when you are working alone you are coding the app while designing it. Then 14 more people are added suddenly what you thought was OK earlier is not OK anymore. The company gets smarter and hires a product manager. The story becomes really interesting; PM's (Product Manager) goes for eye candy and is not worried about scalability and usability as long as you can show naked girls dancing on the screen when a user clicks a button.

The net effect is programmer spends time talking about how to do something and not doing it. Suddenly you realise a year is up and then there is a mad rush to release the product. So what if there are a few bugs. The whole mentality has changed from producing quality software to monthly release even though there may be nothing to release.

So the saga continues...............

Shaji Sethu
Wednesday, September 18, 2002

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