By Darren Franich
October 04, 2011 at 04:35 PM EDT

It’s understandable if the news that Rhapsody is purchasing Napster is giving you a slight touch of chronal vertigo. Both companies were digital pioneers who brilliantly predicted and forced major changes in the music industry. Both brands struggled to actually monetize that brilliance: Rhapsody arguably arrived at the subscription-music-service party too early; Napster was inarguably illegal. Their union is an intriguing hail-mary play by Rhapsody to remain relevant, as digital heavyweights Google and Amazon are launching their own services (not to mention that Spotify all your European friends have been talking about.) Like, do you remember The Wild Bunch, the movie in which a bunch of formerly-badass old cowboys come together to make one last stand against the oncoming wave of modernity? Well, it didn’t end well. Good luck, Rhapsody-Napster! (Rhapster?)

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