I’ve been following what is going on with the Napster program at other Universities … As most of you know, there’s been the program going on here at PSU for about 12 months now. It started as a limited pilot to take a look the impact on bandwidth, if students liked it, and how the press would react to the whole thing. The Dean of the School of IST even taught a course last year looking at the issues. All in all it’s been a fairly well received program (although initially there were a few angry students). I say that with a little angst for a couple of reasons — one being that it is a service provided by a commercial entity that has a questionable reputation (even if it is by name association only) and that it isn’t compatible with Macs. I know that doesn’t bother most people out there reading this post because you’re using a Windows-based PC. But, it might surprise you to know that LINUX and Macs are actually picking up some market share on our campus — let alone campuses across the country. As a side note, I’ve invited Sam Haldeman, PSU’s project manager for the Napster initiative, into class to talk about its impact and the main reasons behind investing in it. I’ll save the reasons of why for later … education is one, but there are some other interesting things out there.
Cornell University recently announced it too would be rolling out a Napster program for students. It’s a little different there because they have actually come right out and said that about $20.00 of the student fees would support it across the board. To my knowledge PSU hasn’t put a price tag on the project and really haven’t said how much of student fees go towards paying for it. Cornell has a slightly larger percentage of Mac users on its campus — 7% vs. about 4% at PSU. Seems the student run newspaper has picked up on this and is crying foul!
I’m really wondering why more students here haven’t stepped up and said anything? Maybe we are just more complacent here at PSU … or is it that the University hasn’t laid out the cost structure? Don’t get me wrong, the dorms have cable and that has to be paid for, right? Just thought I’d throw this one out there for your thoughts … anyone have anything to say here? Love to hear your impressions of the PSU Napster deal and your reaction to the debate going on at Cornell–>