By Timothy Panzigrau
Ruckus, a free music service for college students, shut down suddenly last evening. According to a report on techcrunch.com (see the post here), about 5:30 on Friday, after announcing an update, Ruckus closed its website and began displaying the image at left.
Ruckus provided free access to students with a .edu e-mail address free access to the latest music. Students could download the Ruckus Player, and then add music with Digital Right Management (DRM) protection. Users could purchase a subscription that would allow them to move the music to a portable player. Mainly, the service was supported ads that ran on its website, and in the player itself. Penn State, the University of New Hampshire, University of Arizona, University of South Florida, and others were among those universities that offered the service directly to their students. Penn State had been a member since April of 2007, after ending its connection with Napster.
Several web postings speculate that the reason for the closure stems from a lack of student interest. Ruckus had launched a major drive for new members during 2008. This closure, however, came with no warning. Students after 5:30 p.m. EST were simply unable to update their music licenses or view the Ruckus website. Its loyal users must now watch their Ruckus music library go silent as the DRM licenses expire.
There has been no official word about the closure from Penn State, or Ruckus.