In trying to track down an obscure song title online, I decided to check Napster’s new-and-improved legal song downloading service at www.napster.com. After clicking on the tab labeled “search for music”, I was able to enter my search terms into a field and check for results. Sure enough, Napster claimed to have “multiple results” for my search times, and it listed “the top five”. Interestingly, however, this is as far as one can get without purchasing the service.
Surely, thought I, I can trust these search results and know that if I wished to purchase the Napster service, I’d be able to obtain the music that Napster claims it has.
But I wasn’t entirely convinced, so on a whim, I decided to perform a search on “kjljbnljkhlkjlkjlk”. To my dismay, the response was:
Suspicious at this point, I tried yet another search term: “youfuckinliars”. And sure enough:
Christ, is this insulting to my intelligence. I would expect this shit from online scam artists and porn peddlers, but I thought this was a semi-respectable business.
What does this practice say about the respect this company has for its average customer? And I’m sure that if you complained to them, they’d give some bullshit about why their search algorithm does this, but the bottom line is that if any given x yields “Yes, we have multiple results for x on Napster.”, it is a useless and misleading search engine.
And by the way, I’m sure that whoever Peter Donohoe P is, he shelled out a fortune to be the top Napster search result for “youfuckinliars”. :rolleyes:
I went over to Napster’s site to check it out - not because I didn’t trust you, but because it struck me as really odd.
And yes, when you enter a single word of gibberish, it says it has matches. However, type in a few words - gibberish or otherwise - and it will give you valid results, and will tell you no results are found.
So, maybe there’s a bug in their search algorithm. Lord knows, no semi-respectable business has ever had a bug in the works. Christ, I swore up and down a while ago that I’m not a Napster defender, but seriously, I don’t understand the autohate. No matter what happens with Napster, it’s automatically assumed to be an intentional deception on Napster’s part. I don’t get this. Is it because they stopped giving away the songs for free? Do people have such a hard time grasping the “Napster To Go” business model that they’re convinced Napster must be pulling something shady?
It’s a quirk in the system. Go try another search using more than one word. And if you encounter vagaries in the system, why not try letting Napster know, instead of assuming they’re no good fiends?