According to The Standard, Napster investor and partner, Bertelsmann, has scretly developed and beta tested a Napster clone. Labeled Snoopstar, it provides a user-friendly interface to various file-sharing services including Napster, Gnutella and iMesh. It is not true peer-to-peer as it can only download and beta testers report that it links to Bertelsmann’s CDNow as well as Barnesandnoble.com if a search fails to find the requested music.
Analysts believe that Snoopstar may be launched if Napster is shut down, though other wonder if a company of such size could get away with a direct slap at the rest of the music industry. Others believe Snoopstar is simply a bargaining chip to be held in reserve while negotiating with other labels. Bertelsmann executives have confirmed only that Snoopstar is “just a test project.” The logo is a grinning dog’s face in the tradition of the Napster cat.
The original article is at thestandard.com.