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NAPSTER CLOSED - FOR A LITTLE WHILE

A need to install new technology leads the blocking of all file transfers...

The NAPSTER file-swapping application site has been closed down - albeit only temporarily.

A need to install new technology to help aid a new way of identifying music file content has led to the halt.

Napster began blocking all file transfers yesterday morning (July 3), and in a message to users on Napster.com promised the cessation will be temporary.

"File transfers have been temporarily suspended while Napster upgrades the databases that support our new file identification technology," the message reads. "Keep checking this space for updates. Thanks for your support!"

There has been no announcement about how long the operation will take, though it is believed Napster will be operational again very shortly.

The technology being introduced uses acoustic fingerprinting which means not relying on user-defined names, which made it easier for fans to swap copyrighted material.

As announced last week, Napster have just signed a deal with a conglomerate of European independent labels to have the labels' rosters posted on the Internet through Napster. Stereophonics, Moby, Slipknot, Underworld and Basement Jaxx are amongst the acts to involved in the deal.

The deal is set to kick in when the application's new subscription service begins later this summer.

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