Review of Downloaded (2013)

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Downloaded! I first heard about this when Chris Hardwick aka The Nerdist had Alex Winter on his podcast. I thought it was a damn cool thing. You can hear that episode of The Nerdist HereIn this review I’ll be giving you my in depth thoughts on the documentary. You can Buy or Rent Downloaded from iTunes

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It’s hard to believe that nearly 14 or 15 years have gone by since Napster made the internet explode, back in 1998-1999. Looking back on it now, I don’t think I was ever a part of the Napster New Music Revolution. I knew of Napster, but I was still in the “I NEED a physical copy” phase of music buying. I wanted to have a CD collection. Plus if I remember right, I don’t think I had a computer at this time. I had just graduated high school, and started at a “junior” college. The experience wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be. Plus I’d had enough of school by then. I had grown up on records and cassettes. I was JUST really getting used to CDs in the 90s and 2000s. The thought of having music files on a computer did not compute with me.

However I’d say around 2002 or 2003 I was so ready for the digital music frontier. Granted by then Napster was almost on the way out, but still I grew to love the idea of having music in one place without needing a million CDs. After all CDs can get scratched or ruined, just like records and cassettes could. however I never took part in the music revolution that Napster was attempting to start. Yes I agree Piracy is wrong, but as it was pointed out in this documentary the Napster servers never had their fingers on the files. They were a go between for users around the world.



This documentary film addresses the evolution of digital media sharing on the Internet. It features exclusive interviews with software developers and musicians about controversial filesharing software, and particularly Napster.[9] It follows Napster from its rise in 1998, through the swarm of lawsuits that ensued and to its acquisition by Rhapsody in 2011. Some of those interviewed include Henry RollinsBilly Corgan, former record producer and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, former Sony Music Chairman Don Ienner, former CEO of the RIAA Hilary RosenBeastie Boys’ Mike D and Noel Gallagher.

My Take:

I thought that Downloaded was an interesting look into the rise and fall of the Napster! Considering I’d only heard about it in passing. I never really paid any attention. I was one of those that they mentioned in the doc that went to LimeWire. I only went there briefly in 2003. If you are wondering what had happened and the fall out after Napster went down. This is the documentary for you. I still can’t believe Bill (Alex Winter) was the one to come up with doing this doc. However it’s damn awesome that it was him to do so. Napster essentially forced the Recording Industry to evolve into what we have today. I see the argument from both ends of the debate here. On the one hand you have friends wanting to share their music interests with others, and yet you have the artists feeling that they got cheated.

I understand the artists produce music for the public consumption, as well as it’s something that they wanted to do. Plus they want and have to make money at it. The thing with Napster to me is, that it’s just like if I bring a NEW CD I just bought to my friends house and share it with him. Napster was the evolution of that concept. Downloaded was a damn fine documentary, if you are a music lover, or if you remember the Napster scandal, check this insightful doc out. They use footage from the senate hearings and more. I almost thought that Fanning and Parker would not be friends after watching this . It turns out that they are still friends, and that is very awesome. It’s interesting as to what each of the people that was involved with Napster have gone on to do.  Check out the trailer for Downloaded below!

Final Rating: 


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TFG1Mike is a geek with many interests. He has been podcasting for over a decade, and sees no stopping point in sight. From Transformers, He-Man, Batman, Comics, movies, video games, cartoons, and so much more, Mike has a zeal for the things he loves, and he will bring the hammer down on the things that he has a disdain for. He's generally a postive person, but negativity can creep in there. Mike is all about the innuendos and innuendon'ts too. You'll hear him on many of The GCRN podcasts!


  1. I heard about this too while listening to the Nerdist. Been waiting for it to come out. Good review. Will have to check it out. Napster was a huge part of my college days. Good time as any for a look back.

    1. Thanks! I wanted to write more about the doc itself, and I’m sure looking back now I had stuff I wanted to say, but never put it in there. It’s an interesting story to say the least, and it’s more complicated than what the Justin Timberlake version of Parker would have you believe from The Social Network lol

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