I was online when it happened. I think I had just downloaded a Nirvana bootleg, despite wondering whether its contents were already on the “With the Lights Out” box I owned. I had recently downloaded, listened to, and dug on some Arthur Russell stuff a blog had posted, and decided to further investigate his oeuvre via the other links provided. Except that when I clicked on the link, it went to an FBI warning. Huh, that’s weird. Must be a stale link from a DMCA takedown request or something. I should really decide whether to download these things sooner, and not let them fester starred forever in my feeds. Tried another link, same result. Hmmm, OK, did I click on something funny and get my browser taken over? It was very strange that everything would be fine one second, and f’d the very next.
I was really bummed when Megaupload bit the dust. Of all the file deposit sites used by mp3/flac blogs, I very much preferred MU, because they didn’t engage in a lot of the usual nonsense of all the other sites, like throttling download speeds for non-paying users, annoying captcha stages, misleading “download” buttons/links, etc. Mr. Dotcom was a real stand-up dude that way. It was funny to learn more (or any, actually) info about MU. I had no idea that such money could be made from running one of those sites. I guess maybe I just figured they were some crazy freedom loving Swedes or Russkies or whoever, although I’m not sure I had even formulated that vague a conception of who they might be.
I have to say I was a bit surprised to see how scared shitless everyone suddenly became, with a number of other sites turning off file sharing capabilities or preventing all U.S.-based IP addresses from connecting. Even more mystifying and disappointing was that most of the music blogs I had been following threw in the towel and either stopped posting or erased their blogs, even though there still remained a number of other file sharing sites they could’ve used. Beyond other worries that could be mentioned, I guess it’s a bummer when all the music you’ve ever shared just got erased. People posted comments about the “end of an era” and “fun while it lasted” and “we had a good run of it for a while”, and so on. WTH, people?
With all that, it did start to feel like the end of the era. I’m hoping it’s just a pause, though. Really, I could use a pause. Especially with my recent nomadicity, I haven’t had a chance to listen to music as much as usual, and particularly not to recently downloaded stuff. And I have tons and tons of now bittersweetly stale MU links (among others) still in saved RSS posts. When I just had enough time I was sure to go through them all and figure out which of those many albums by artists known or unknown to me that either sounded vaguely intriguing, had supercool artwork, or had been raved about by the blog poster as classic and/or totally necessary, would be worth my time to download, tag, catalog, and eventually, maybe, actually listen to…
At least one blog I follow has finally snapped out of its non-musical funk and started posting again, albeit in a more careful manner. Hopefully more will follow. Those out-of-print lost-classic albums aren’t going to discover themselves, are they?