Alternatives to Napster
By Victor, the "PackDaddy"

Right now as I write these words I am downloading Mp3 files from Napster. It's true! I'm doing it Rrrrrright NOW! Who among us hasn't enjoyed this fine program? Who hasn't known the joy of downloading Violent Femmes' "Blister In The Sun" while writing an article for a website, or, for example, making love to a fine woman. Haven't we all? I know I have. All the time. Go Easy Sheri! I'm trying to tyYYYYyyyyyeeeep.
Ha ha, there is no Sheri!
Or is there?
Anyway, the threat of Napsters imminent destruction has sent me all a quiver. Will this way of life end for me? I suppose life would go on. Life would still be a bowl of ice cream, but there wouldn't be a Sheri on top! Ha! I'm totally in the zone! It must be the funky music in the background. So, to preserve my culture of piracy and bugging out, I have investigated the alternatives, and I have decided to share them with you, dear reader.

1) Gnutella: A Napster wantabe. Also, the most poorly programmed turd I've ever seen. And I remember this one time a friend of mine created a video game! HA! It was really crappy! Trust me though, as bad as "Dan Space: in space, only Dan can hear you scream" was, Gnutella is worse. First of all, there are many versions of Gnutella, all with clever variations on the theme, like "GnuSmella" and the gay version "GnuFella". Don't be deceived: they ALL suck. I downloaded the most official version and tried it out. Even connected to upwards of 3 billion people, searches for even the most common songs don't work. Searches for common song words like "love" don't work. Searches for common letters like "R" and "S" don't work. This could be due to the fact that almost nobody on Gnutella shares his or her songs, but it's not. It's because Gnutella blows Chunks and sucks Eggs.

The most annoying this about Gnutella is the choice of background colour, (a delightful "highland kilt" number, Tiny Grey grid on a white background) which doesn't actually allow one to read the displayed text. This background can only be changed by changing the source code or downloading a skin. However, the only skin currently available is designed for Gnufella. The file was called COCKS_AHOY, so I choose to stick with my bonnie gray tartan. I did have one interesting experience with Gnutella, however. I was trying to get it to work when a GIANT up arrow button appeared. I was stunned. I cautiously moved my cursor over it and, when I was ready, clicked the Up button. Nothing happened. Confused and not sure what to do next I stared at the button until an idea began to form in my mind: I would click it again. I did. I did again. I began to click furiously. The button now had its right side partially covered because it had moved behind the scroll up/down bar. Even that could not conceal the mammoth button. The similarity of the giant up button and the scroll bar lend me to the conclusion that they were linked somehow. It was while I considered this link that I was struck with the true meaning of the button. Pensively, I raised my head upwards; in the direction the arrow had pointed me. My eyes traced a path up the side of the wall, and came to rest on my ceiling. I then knew what I must do. I must write an editorial about this Celebration of Crappiness. This fête des Fèces. This Gnutella.

Bottom line: Makes for better Literary Inspiration than Musical Stimulation. God, I'm clever.

2) Borrow stuff from friends and make a copy: A good option. Gives you an excuse to call attractive female friends. The major con is that your friends have no taste in music and their collections suck. Also, they get bitchy that you don't return their cds. Plus you need to have at least some money to buy tapes or cd R's.

Bottom line: Call your attractive female friends and ask for "jimmy" and when they say, "I'm sorry, there is no one here by that name." You say, "Sheri? Sheri Maxwell? Is that you? I don't believe it! This is Pack Daddy, I'm in your English class!" If there really is a jimmy there, just see what he's up to. Maybe he has a decent taste in music.

3) Buy music: A poor option. It's really expensive! At least 16 bucks for any cd made since the 80's! Most are 18! Or more! Tapes are about 8 bucks and there's a whole bin of em', But they are all ABBA except for one album of House of Pain's- "Shamrocks and Shenanigans". Plus, those guys who work there always think I'm trying to shoplift.

Bottom line: If your'e like me, a quick check of your wallet will revel that it is overflowing with girls phone numbers and about a pound of pennies, but nothing more. Solution? Barter with the phone numbers. If the clerk is reluctant or unsure of the value of the numbers, give him the advice from the number 2 bottom line, but replace "I'm in your English class!" with "I work at a Record Store!". Failing this, you could shoplift.

4) Start your own band!: This doesn't really help you to get cheap music, but it is really bitchin! You could call it "The sexy Victors!" or "Victor's sexy!"

Bottom line: It rules! ROCK ON, SEXY VICTORS!

5) Record music off the radio: Probably the worst option of all. It still requires tapes, like option 2, but the sound quality is poorer, you never know when they are going to play something worth recording, and DJ's will, on a song that's about 4 minutes long, talk three minutes into the song. The only upside is that you might win tickets to some concert... like I did! OH YEAH! The Big E and I Are going to Summersault FREEE, BABY! (Actually, the big E and I won the tickets from a radio station for going to the X-men Premiere in costume, but that's another story)

Bottom line: Just play the DAMN SONG, GOD DAMN IT! And thanks for the tickets, SUCKERS!

In conclusion, let us pray that Napster, or some equivalent, will forever provide the broke with music.

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