The VH1 Rock Doc Downloaded gets it’s public premiere this Thursday (that’s the 12th!) steaming on AOL. It’s a fitting debut for Alex Winter‘s film that chronicles the rise and fall of Napster, the infamous high profile peer-to-peer internet music sharing service. Although extremely controversial due to the thorny questions it raised about ownership and copyright, there’s no denying that the site placed a major cultural role and was an important technological stepping stone.
In the twelve years since a barrage of lawsuits shut it down, music sharing on the internet has gone from being just for “pirates” to a major business. There’s no shortage of sites where one can steam (or in some cases download) music of every conceivable variety, all to your heart’s content. We’ve got the mysterious-yet-epic “Daisy” project from Beats on the horizon, the brain child industry titans Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor and record exec Jimmy Iovine. Napster’s back -this time as a streaming site and MP3 store- and now even BitTorrent is going legit as a legal file transfer site. We’ve come a long way in music sharing since the first steps taken by Napster more than a dozen years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to rock out for free (or very little money) on the web!