Although there were already networks that facilitated the distribution of files across the Internet, such as IRC, Hotline, and Usenet, Napster specialized in MP3 files of music and a user-friendly interface.
At its peak the Napster service had about 80 million registered users. Napster made it relatively easy for music enthusiasts to download copies of songs that were otherwise difficult to obtain, such as older songs, unreleased recordings, and songs from concert bootleg recordings.
High-speed networks in college dormitories became overloaded, with as much as 61% of external network traffic consisting of MP3 file transfers.Many colleges blocked its use for this reason, even before concerns about liability for facilitating copyright violations on campus.
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