Keep your music offline

MySpace just lost 12 years worth of music. It’s quite unprecedented. It’s also scary and sad. There probably was some excellent stuff in those 50 million songs from 14 million artists.

I’ve always been on the fence with uploading my music to services. I am slowly getting back to sharing directly. I don’t trust any of the services we have out there. Even when paying. Even when they’re big.

MySpace used to be gigantic. It is now clear that those companies don’t care for a second about people’s creations.

Peter has a great comment:

This isn’t just about individual backups, but the larger question of how digital music is distributed archived in our society. And reflecting on this it’s actually pretty stunning to me how far *backwards* we’ve gone.

Just a few things to consider:

1. While P2P stuff like torrent and Napster may have been illegal, one thing about distributing music that way is that the content then exists more than one place. By comparison, corporate consolidation means we have very little real redundancy. With or without the blockchain business, *any* distributed scheme for content would work very differently.

2. This isn’t just about data reliability, either – it’s also about uptime. If we’re overly dependent on one provider, like Facebook, an outage or your government deciding to put up a firewall or that provider false flagging a copyright claim – any of those things can be utterly devastating, say, if you’re an independent artist/label trying to make a release date work.

3. There’s no library. When I got started, I was advised to register copyright for my scores to the US government, and eventually audio, too. That means the US Library of Congress archives those works and makes them available to researchers and so on. Not to mention, I grew up checking out tapes and CDs from the local library. Now this ‘cloud’ business means things are lost and inaccessible.

I could go on. Backups are important, but a backup isn’t a public archive, which is why the Internet Archive reference is relevant.

Creators are careless and consumers have no sense of legacy or continuation anymore. A pretty awful equation.

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