Movie Review: VH1 Rock Doc ‘Downloaded’
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Director: Alex Winter
Cast: Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker, Don Lenner, Hilary Rosen, Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Lars Ulrich, Trent Reznor
VH1 Rock Docs
Not Rated | 106 Minutes
Release Date: March 10th, 2013 (SXSW)

Directed by Alex Winter (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Freaked), Downloaded chronicles the evolution of digital media, focusing primarily on the rise and fall of the pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service Napster.

Featuring exclusive interviews with Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, software developers, musicians, and the music industry elite, Downloaded explores the controversial file sharing software and follows Napster’s rise in 1998, through the gauntlet of copyright infringement lawsuits, to its acquisition by Rhapsody in 2011.

Some of those interviewed for Winter’s documentary include Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, former Sony Music Chairman Don Lenner, former CEO of the RIAA Hilary Rosen, Beastie Boys’ Mike D, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis.

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, a user-friendly interface, and lightning-fast search speeds. At its peak, Napster had about 80 million registered users and revolutionized the music industry for better or for worse.

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: The Smashing Pumpkins ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 album deals for August 2012, The Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is on sale for only $5.

If you would like a physical copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the CD is available for $16.99.

Released in 1995, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was the third album by The Smashing Pumpkins. This ginormous double-album (the CD version comes on two discs and the vinyl on three records) runs the emotional gamut from melancholy soft rock slow jams to fierce rage-fueled speed metal. Frontman Billy Corgan was once quoted as saying Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was meant to capture the turmoil and angst he’d felt as a teenager but couldn’t articulate until adulthood. Eh, I say buy it for the catchy radio hits you remember fondly, such as “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “Zero,” and “Tonight, Tonight,” but love it for the lesser known (but no less rockin’) tracks you had no idea even existed. At $5 for nearly two hours of great music, you really can’t get hurt.

Browse the main sale page to see the other 999 albums on sale for only $5 each in MP3 format through the end of August 2012.

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