Napigator 2.0 from Thirty4 Interactive works on top of Napster software to circumvent the servers that are likely to be shut down by the music industry lawsuit against the file-sharing service. Appearing only as a tab in the client interface, it links Napster users to a global network of OpenNap servers maintained by open-source programmers. Servers contain the index for available songs and their location on other users’ PCs.
Napigator typically has more listed servers than Napster but they are not of the same quality and can be tracked down if the music industry decides to sue their owners individually. A cofounder of Thirty4.com says Napigator directs 180,000 users to OpenNap servers daily and had 1.6 million users last month. According to PCWorld, Napigator 2.0 may draw the millions of people with only basic computer skills because it is easy to use, unlike clients like Gnutella and Freenet.
In related news, The federal judge handling the record labels’ suits against Napster has named a mediator in hopes that some sort of compromise might be reached.