There was also FileShare and MyNapster, two very early OpenNap clients now long extinct. FileShare was an excellent client that was the preferred method for connecting to the MusicCity OpenNap network. At that time MusicCity, the precursor to today’s Morpheus, maintained an enormous resource of between 20 and 30 servers. It was by far the largest OpenNap community, a distinction yet to be eclipsed. However, during the RIAA crackdown MusicCity departed OpenNap for the less vulnerable FastTrack network. Some claim MusicCity’s days on OpenNap was simply a clever marketing scheme, aimed at drawing users to their new client.
AudioGnone, which is an excellent client, made its debut in early 2001 and still manages to exist. However, the client and homepage accompanying this program have remained virtually unchanged since its genesis. This seems to be the case with most OpenNap clients, although a few still manage to churn out updates.
Lopster, for example is still active, with the latest activity reported on 8/15/2005. Although this is an “anything but” Windows client, it has been successfully ported to Windows under the name of “WinLop.” WinMX of course still supports OpenNap, although it is debatable whether this client will ever be updated. Considering OpenNap has changed little since its inception, having an ultra current application is not absolutely necessary.
An OpenNap client by itself is useless unless you have some servers to connect to. Napigator did a great job of populating clients with servers, however this utility like most other things related to OpenNap disappeared. Depending on one’s OpenNap skill level, this poised a considerable problem. But like all things related to P2P, a replacement soon came forward.
GotNap.com, which is similar in nature to Napigator, maintains a list of numerous public servers and imports server lists to popular OpenNap clients. Some notable differences however, is GotNap is not a commercial venture and does not have a standalone client. Yet it still gets the job done, but OpenNap would still suffer additional losses.
Unfortunately development on the official Sourceforge OpenNap server software was discontinued in 2002. However thanks to its open source nature, new software would soon emerge. Though various forms of OpenNap server software exist, the one popular implementation is SlavaNap. SlavaNap was once hosted on SourceForge and was an open source application. However, its switch over to SlavaNap.org
ended its open nature.
Unlike the original OpenNap software, SlavaNap is designed for simplicity and has an easy to use windows interface. Just about anyone who knows how to download an application and has broadband connection can now run an OpenNap network. Whether this is a good thing or not remains highly contested. Networks such as BunnyMatrix and SlavaBeach.net use SlavaNap servers.
An off-shoot of the original OpenNap program is the popular OpenNap-NG software. OpenNap-NG, like SlavaNap, is still being developed and is regularly updated. Funny thing is, there are two versions of OpenNap-NG: the OpenNap-NG that exists on SourceForge
, and the version that exists on OpenNap-NG.org
. Necessary-Evil, an old time favorite of the OpenNap community, utilizes and supports the latter version of OpenNap-NG software.
Each version claims to be the legitimate copy, and each version claims the other is a fallacy. You can read the SourceForge’s version of events here
, and OpenNap-NG.org’s story here
Although development around OpenNap is not as fast paced as eMule or LimeWire, this community is far from being a ghost town. In fact, the exact opposite is true as there's even some intense drama in the server development communtiy.
OpenNap is perhaps one of the few P2P communities that retain the original communal nature that accompanied Napster. Interestingly, Napster’s direct decedents, SoulSeek and OpenNap, despite all their faults still maintain this core value of P2P. A quality many of their newer, more advanced brethren tend to place in the back burner.