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Audiogalaxy was a file sharing system located at http://www.audiogalaxy.com/ that indexes MP3 files. Founded by Michael Merhej[?] and sporting a web-based search engine, always-on searching for requested files, auto-resume and low system impact, it quickly gained ground among file sharers abandoning Napster in 2001.

  • In May of 2001, Audiogalaxy implemented "groups" which allowed group members to send songs to everyone in the group. Clever hackers used this backdoor to circumvent the "blocked songs" restriction, where Audiogalaxy could deny transfer of specific copyrighted songs.

  • On May 9th, 2002, Audiogalaxy required songs to be in the sender's shared folder to be sent. Previously, one could send any song to anyone by editing the CGI parameters. This was protection was quickly defeated by creating a "dummy" file in one's shared folder, and sending a song with the same name -- due to Audiogalaxy's checksum hashing, the correct file was always sent despite the dummy.

  • Even though Audiogalaxy claimed that they were trying to cooperate with the music industry and block copyrighted songs from their network, they continued to offer illegal MP3s and were sued by RIAA, on May 24th, 2002. On this day, Audiogalaxy blocked sending of all blocked songs.

  • On June 17th, 2002, Audiogalaxy reached an out-of-court settlement with the RIAA. The settlement reached would allow Audiogalaxy to operate a "filter-in" system, which required that for any music available, the songwriter, music publisher, and/or recording company must first consent to the use and sharing of the work.

  • On September 8th, 2002, Audiogalaxy launched a for-pay streaming service called rhapsody and discontinued its famous web-based P2P service.

  • On December 25th, 2002, Martin Rieder wrote a preliminary form of a database-backed backwards-compatible Audiogalaxy server, dubbed OpenAG Server.

Although Audiogalaxy's primary purpose was clearly to facilitate sharing of music, much more has grown out of it. Audiogalaxy was notable for its strong community due to such features as chat-enabled groups and per-artist message boards.

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