Napster to Launch Service for Macintosh Users

Napster Inc. is launching itself into new territory despite a pending court judgment that could end its person-to-person file-sharing service.

The company announced Wednesday the launch of a Macintosh version of the Napster service.

“Napster for the Mac provides the total Napster experience wrapped in a Mac-friendly user interface,” Napster founder Shawn Fanning said in a statement.

The Mac version will match toolbar colors to the bright iMac colors and will offer some features unavailable in the PC version, such as a search history capability and the ability to move files between different desktop folders.

Napster, Redwood City, CA, is still in the process of appealing a July court decision that ordered it to shut down pending a trial into copyright infringement charges brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The RIAA, which represents America's major record labels, has blasted Napster's file-sharing service and has claimed it facilitates mass theft.

Napster officials have reportedly made several offers to individual record labels, but have been unsuccessful in their efforts. CEO Hank Barry said that the company has worked on business models that would charge users $4.95 a month for the service, which could lead to $500 million for record companies in 2001.

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