Napster, a division of Roxio, has announced progressive agreements with six colleges and universities to provide access to online music. Cornell University, The George Washington University, Middlebury College in Vermont, University of Miami, The University of Southern California, and the Wright State University (Ohio) will all work with Napster to create campus-specific programs providing their students access to Napster's subscription service and digital song catalog. The primary goals of the program are to combat P2P music piracy, conserve university bandwidth costs, and protect intellectual property. Penn State University and University of Rochester were the first to join Napster's university program this past winter. Penn State plans to expand its offering this fall so students at all 23 campuses can participate.
All the schools will offer Napster's subscription service, featuring unlimited streaming and hard drive downloading from the digital music library, as well as access to interactive, commercial-free radio stations, six decades of Billboard's historic chart information, and an online magazine. Napster also gives university students the opportunity to be part of an online community who can send tracks to friends, share play lists, and look at other members' music collections. Students still have the option to purchase music to burn to CD or transfer to compatible portable devices. Specific technological implementation will vary from campus to campus, and may include implementation of Napster and IBM's "Super Peer" application, which caches the most popular Napster content on on-site IBM servers managed remotely by Napster. "Super Peer" is designed to reduce campus' external bandwidth utilization, deliver music instantly on demand and provide advanced quality and security to optimize university network resources and reduce system vulnerability.