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Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning talk digital music at SXSW

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Features, Music, Software,

SXSW 2012 Downloaded Sean Parker Shawn Fanning

The revolutionary promise of digital music became reality with the rise of Napster. The file sharing network pioneered a functional and comprehensive catalog of music with its enthusiastic users. Developed by then-teenaged Shawn Fanning in 1998, Napster became a worldwide phenomenon in less than a year. Co-founder Sean Parker helped develop Napster into a company. Mass acceptance came quickly, but legal challenges ultimately doomed the original service. Despite the controversy and lawsuits, Napster changed the music business and paved the way for iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, and other music services. The divide between the cultural establishment and technology innovators was defined by the disputes raised by Napster. After more than a decade of declining sales of recorded music and imperfect attempts to present a licensed alternative, the influence of Napster continues to be felt.

At SXSW, I listened in on a discussion with Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning where they discussed these issues in an effort to promote their film Downloaded. The panel opened with a montage of clips from the VH1 rockDocs Downloaded film. The trailer touched on the start of Napster, the revelation of how easy it was to get music based on a search term, how quick the results were in the age of dial-up, and the growth of Napster as a company. There are a couple of gems there as well, such as when Fanning said back in 1999 that he believed the future was instant music access from multiple devices, including stereos and smartphones (well, he said "cell phones," but still.) this is a movie about kids revolutionizing an industry they knew nothing about.

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Bill and Ted Reunion? Excellent!

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Adventure, Sequels, Comedy, Casting, Rumors, Scripts,

Remember Alex Winter, the guy who played Bill S. Preston? Former co-star Keanu Reeves (Ted Theodore Logan) does, and that’s good news for a lot of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure fans.

The two were seen on Friday night palling around in Hollywood, and we’re hoping it means a long-awaited sequel is in the works.

The two actors began their Excellent Adventure in 1989. The film instantly gained a cult following and blossomed into a franchise, spawning three TV series, one feature-length sequel and even a stage musical. After the actors followed up with a Bogus Journey in 1991, Keanu Reeves went on to become a major Hollywood player. Alex Winter became “that guy in the Bill & Ted movies ... the one who’s not Keanu Reeves.”

And he may get the chance to be that guy again. Rumor has it that the original scriptwriters are indeed working on a new chapter in the tale, and apparently Keanu and Alex are getting chummy again. TMZ managed to get some video of the big event if you’d like to take a look.

As you might expect, the two actors still look excellent together.

Read More | TMZ