for obvious reasons, most in-volving millions of dollars and dozens of heavily perspiring music-industry executives, most of the talk surrounding Napster and other file-sharing programs has swirled around the music biz.But records are not the only thing available on Napster in CD quality.
In the few months since I bumped my connection up from a dial-up service to high-speed, the majority of stuff that's been clogging my hard drive wouldn't trouble the Recording Industry Association of America in the slightest.
In addition to advance copies of the entire Steve Malkmus solo album, rare Fela tracks and bogus songs claiming to be from Radiohead's forthcoming Amnesiac disc, Napster offers your childhood -- at least the audio bits.
Some of the most interesting stuff available for download comes from commercials, TV shows and movies long forgotten and largely unavailable anywhere else.
Looking for the title music to the Littlest Hobo? It's there. So are about a thousand different theme songs from 70s commercials, dialogue from every possible TV show you can imagine and a national anthem for almost every country on the planet. The Slinky song? Yep. The Costa Rican national anthem? Of course. The entire Mr. Sparkle bit from the Simpsons? All two minutes and 13 second of it.
The more you search, the deeper the pile of tunes and sound bites posted seems to get.
Among my favourite finds are the psychedelic incidental music from the Spiderman cartoon sequences, the jive sequences from Airplane!, the theme music to old cartoons Rocket Robin Hood and Tales Of The Wizard Of Oz -- both as good as I remembered them -- and a blistering eight-minute, Red Square Army version of the Soviet Union's national anthem.
Sports fans are hardly left out. There are not, as far as I can tell, any clips from either the classic Bobby Orr or Guy Lafleur albums, but I did find a bizarre prank phone call between some French radio hosts and Lafleur, as well as an explosive bit of commentary from an Italian soccer match where the commentator screams, "Goal!" for at least 20 seconds of the 30-second clip.
All are worthy diversions. Why anyone would spend the time uploading every imaginable clip from every Simpsons show is a little less clear, but as long as they keep putting them up, I'll keep pulling them down. email@example.com
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