Barry is a partner in San Francisco-based Hummer Winblad Venture Partners which is leading a $15 million venture capital funding round in Napster. Barry and Hummer Winblad partner John Hummer will also join Napster’s board of directors.

Barry lauded Napster’s popularity

“According to a recent poll, over 79 percent of all college students have used Napster’s software, and 19.2 percent use it every day,” he said.

“With over 10 million registered users within its first nine months, Napster’s filesharing application has become the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of the Internet.”

Hummer Winblad’s investment portfolio includes Liquid Audio, another digital-music startup. Liquid Audio, in stark contrast to Napster, provides software that includes piracy protections and has the approval of the Record Industry Association of America.

Prior to joining Hummer Winblad, Barry was an attorney for Liquid Audio. It’s not known whether that association will result in Napster eventually embracing the Liquid Audio format.

In a recent beta release, Napster included support for Windows Media Audio files in addition to MP3 files.

Richardson will stay on with Napster in an advisory role. She served as interim CEO for nine months, during which the beleaguered firm was sued by the RIAA, heavy metal band Metallica and rap artist Dr. Dre, among others.