MySpace has lost all music uploaded between 2003 and 2015
March 18, 2019 4:04 AM   Subscribe

The issue was first noticed about a year ago. MySpace have confirmed that all the music is lost and cannot be recovered. "Due to a server migration files have been corrupted and unable to be transferred to our updated site."

Via Andy Baio, who added, "I'm deeply skeptical this was an accident. Flagrant incompetence may be bad PR, but it still sounds better than 'we can't be bothered with the effort and cost of migrating and hosting 50 million old MP3s.'"
posted by daisyk (43 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
The story has been covered on various news sites (e.g. the BBC), but honestly no one seems to have more information than is in the linked Reddit thread and its links.
posted by daisyk at 4:09 AM on March 18


My (totally uninformed by facts) intuition is that it's a mix of accident and intent. The accident being the actual loss of the data, but the intent being whatever combination of staff and service reductions, and decline of data integrity practices that elevated the likelihood of permanent data loss.
posted by at by at 4:25 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]


Surely this spells doom for the tech giant MySpace, and I fear they may soon become irrelevant.
posted by entropone at 4:47 AM on March 18 [76 favorites]


But . . . but . . . but . . . wasn't the whole point of the continued existence of MySpace "cheap (free?) DIY website for bands"? I mean, I don't really do social media but I swear once they realized they were getting steamrolled by The Book of Face they specifically and intentionally rebranded themselves as a music-focused site. I don't think it was particularly successful at this - most of the musical acts I encounter or work with don't seem to have a MySpace page - but it seems rather spectacularly lazy and/or cruel to just "whoops" the entire reason for your existence into nothingness.

Or I suppose it's further proof (as if any was really needed) that tech giants are not your friends.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:50 AM on March 18 [15 favorites]


but it seems rather spectacularly lazy and/or cruel to just "whoops" the entire reason for your existence into nothingness

In fairness, that hasn't been a reason for them to exist since Bandcamp ate their lunch half a decade or so ago.
posted by Dysk at 4:52 AM on March 18 [23 favorites]


I was discussing this with my 16-year-old, who said “I don’t know anyone who goes on MySpace.”
“Even for music? That’s pretty much all it does these days.”
“No, we use YouTube.”
posted by Etrigan at 4:55 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]


In related news, Friendster has deleted all your friends. It was an accident!
posted by phooky at 5:18 AM on March 18 [15 favorites]


Which is how the 00s became known as the Dark Age of Indie Music.
posted by acb at 5:21 AM on March 18 [17 favorites]


This is straight out of Hypnospace Outlaw.
posted by johngoren at 5:33 AM on March 18 [6 favorites]


In fairness, that hasn't been a reason for them to exist since Bandcamp ate their lunch half a decade or so ago.

Oh, sure, absolutely, from an external POV. But, I mean, from an internal POV, in a "What does this company actually do?" way, it's like a friggin' comedy sketch:

"Oh, hey, we're all about the music. We're a place for people to share the music they've created. Also art and writing. Empowering creators, bypassing the gatekeepers. The power of the internet, man, leveling the playing field, expanding creativity. Music music music."

"Cool. . . . So, where's the music?"

". . . Ummmmm . . . "
posted by soundguy99 at 5:36 AM on March 18 [13 favorites]


in even more bad news, facebook is now leopardbook

"yum"
posted by pyramid termite at 5:39 AM on March 18 [13 favorites]


I don't think anyone within MySpace was unironically trotting out the "we're all about the music" in the last few years. They can't be stupid enough to have missed that that pivot did not work for them. They're more likely saying "we need to find a new niche, this music stuff is a millstone - maybe we can 'accidentally' 'lose' it?"
posted by Dysk at 5:41 AM on March 18 [8 favorites]


Good point, Dysk.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:46 AM on March 18


The fact that there word "sorry" doesn't even appear in Myspace's explanation of what happened speaks volumes.
posted by gauche at 6:04 AM on March 18 [5 favorites]


I can't think of the last time I listened to am mp3 from any non streaming source.
I wouldn't be surprised if they just deleted everything with zero downloads.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:20 AM on March 18


MySpace music was streaming. It was one of the first, really.
posted by Dysk at 6:23 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


Yep. See the Ask MetaFilter discussion from a little over a year ago, too.
posted by limeonaire at 6:27 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


ah man. all my blink 182 covers
posted by Bwentman at 6:38 AM on March 18 [9 favorites]


That was me limeonaire. Pretty sad really
posted by nikaspark at 6:39 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]


Forget the tree falling on the bear pooping in the woods metaphor, if an internet billionaire deletes a file no one listens to was the file online?
posted by sammyo at 7:02 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


Guess we'll just have to upload our entire mp3 collection to archive.org, y'know, to be safe.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:14 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


I can't believe this information doesn't/didn't exist on tape someplace. No one is that incompetent.
posted by Mitheral at 8:26 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


It's a pretty shocking loss of data. I share Andy's suspicions that it may not have entirely been an accident. I can imagine the calculation was made that the financial benefit to them wasn't worth the cost of working hard to recover the data. I mean the whole company is a spiral of disaster; first fast, now slow. Hard to care about some old music, right?

If you upload precious data to a site for safekeeping, demand that they have some bulk export. Flickr got this right from the beginning and it's why the slow devolution of the site (and hopeful new renaissance under SmugMug) hasn't been a shitshow. It's always been easy to download your photos out of Flickr.

Google has also been pretty good about letting you bulk download data with the Data Liberation Team's efforts. GDPR means a lot of sites are building bulk export tools now.

Of course an export tool doesn't solve anything if you don't use it before the company loses your precious data.
posted by Nelson at 8:33 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


Well, that settles it. I'm putting all my social media's in MySpace, because I definitely know my data will be lost and never seen again one way or another.
posted by FJT at 8:50 AM on March 18 [24 favorites]


the end of an error
posted by philip-random at 9:01 AM on March 18 [10 favorites]


This actually really intensely sucks. Before soundcloud, some of the first cool dj mixes i found online were on myspace. I'd still show them to friends because a few of them were REALLY ahead of their time for 2006/7/8 and kind of front ran where the styles of various genres were going. They were never uploaded anywhere else, as far as i can tell.

I managed to rip a few, along with a few tracks i never found anywhere else, but i have no idea what junk external hdd from high school with a duct taped together power brick they're stored on. Ugh
posted by emptythought at 9:19 AM on March 18 [9 favorites]


I can't believe this information doesn't/didn't exist on tape someplace. No one is that incompetent.

I do data backup and archiving for a university and I absolutely believe they could have been flying without backups. Doing backup right is expensive and non-trivial to implement. It's easy to imagine management of a struggling has-been social media company deciding to save money by forgoing backups. After all, you've got RAID protection, right?
posted by tracknode at 11:14 AM on March 18 [12 favorites]


Never rely on someone else's backup plan.
posted by freakazoid at 11:57 AM on March 18 [5 favorites]


"Put it in the cloud, it's totally safe there."

*headdesk*
posted by wenestvedt at 12:04 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]


I do data backup and archiving for a university and I absolutely believe they could have been flying without backups. Doing backup right is expensive and non-trivial to implement. It's easy to imagine management of a struggling has-been social media company deciding to save money by forgoing backups. After all, you've got RAID protection, right?

Hell, even if they were doing backups, they may not have been validating the backups (which takes money and time).

I mean, bit rot is a thing.
posted by MikeKD at 12:30 PM on March 18 [8 favorites]


My DJ page (fortunately no mixes or archived shows, usually just saying when my show was) "disappeared" from MySpace a while ago, but I checked it just now out of curiosity for the first time in eons and got a "HTTP 410 Gone: The website no longer exists" message.

Hmm.
posted by gtrwolf at 1:46 PM on March 18


I can't think of a time I've ever regretted keeping all my music on my own hard drives (as well as a backup on a Google Drive).
posted by straight at 1:54 PM on March 18 [8 favorites]


Is anyone actually upset by this, or is this just a creative way to get a MySpace story into the BBC News "popular" list?
posted by Brocktoon at 2:01 PM on March 18


Last internal scuttlebutt I heard (and this was a while back) was that basically no one was working on it. It was coasting on having an infrastructure that was built to handle orders of magnitude more traffic.

But it was also built on physical datacenter. With spinning disks. Hardware was failing, and no one was replacing it.

There were some amazing engineers working on that system. I keep in touch with several. I work for one now.

But none of them were still there, and what kind of talent were they going to attract?

I totally buy that it was a mistake, or combination of mistakes. Not least because I remember when a bunch of old account data was purposefully purged when I was still there (and argued against it!); that was a couple iterations of management ago, so things obviously could have changed - but there weren't any lies about it.
posted by flaterik at 2:41 PM on March 18 [4 favorites]


It's always easy to casually dump on old unfashionable parts of the web, but there was a time when it harbored a huge amount of social activity. It now serves as an archive for millions of people's time online. That time was important to many people and MySpace's demise shouldn't be taken lightly even if its own custodians don't give a damn.
posted by at by at 2:43 PM on March 18 [11 favorites]


Is anyone actually upset by this

It's a huge loss of history. If Myspace had come out and said hey, we're going to stop hosting a bunch of old stuff, then Archive Team would have stepped up and mirrored it all before it went down. That would have been one thing.

Myspace did this previously with their major site redesign, where they deleted millions of blogs without warning. That sucked. This sucks. It's similar to the old BBC policy of wiping tapes for re-use which is why we don't have early episodes of hugely important TV shows. Or the policy of movie studios that led to the destruction of huge numbers of early movies.

It's always been the case that these companies value their content so far as they can see a profit in it and no further. There was a lot of music on Myspace that didn't exist anywhere else anymore. And a lot of that music meant something to someone. That music is gone now, and that sucks.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:53 PM on March 18 [20 favorites]


where they deleted millions of blogs without warning

Also a ton of pictures. The new design had higher resolution pictures and rather than reprocess all of the old users', it was only people who had logged in since a particular time. I imagine those were the same blogs.

I'm still annoyed.
posted by flaterik at 5:25 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


This surely has caused many personal tragedies. I started a small record label up recently and considered releasing some old stuff that had only been on myspace in 2004, It was a really off the cuff solo black metal thing In college. I've always been pretty good at backing up but wanted to check myspace to quickly see how it had aged. I thought they were just screwing me or having momentary issues.

Luckily I was able to find the tracks but I want to qualify, I keep several backup hard drives mirrored and use dual eSATA to USB hot swap devices (I call them toasters) for backups, store them in differnt locations when feasible, and use a cloud for mixes and masters. Like I said, I'm pretty good at backing up. My type is few for a myriad of reasons and I have still lost a decent amount of work for losing diligence in the past.

If you think this is trivial in any way you must be out of my age group or jaded af at the internet, both of which are entirely understandable states of being and I'm here for you :)

A hypothetical. A broke musician gets a call from an old friend, now successful in the film/ad industry. They inquire about an old track the musician did on their mbox back in the day and offers them AnyAmount for placement into AnyMediaProduct.

Maybe sick person wants to relive some good memories. Asks a care giver if myspace is still around

I managed to rip a few, along with a few tracks i never found anywhere else, but i have no idea what junk external hdd from high school with a duct taped together power brick they're stored on. Ugh
posted by emptythought at 11:19 AM on March 18 [8 favorites +] [!]


Historical impact is massive across several genre

Seriously thinking about this is stressing me out and I fear I'm ranting when I should be considering how to improve my backup situation.
posted by dagosto at 12:36 AM on March 19 [4 favorites]


Is anyone actually upset by this, or is this just a creative way to get a MySpace story into the BBC News "popular" list?

Some of my favorite bands, some of whom weren't even that small, had tracks or versions of tracks that were only ever released on Myspace. You weren't allowed to download them, but I was able to get some with a ripping program. These tracks are not on streaming services, illegal or legal. It's a pisser.
posted by bootlegpop at 2:55 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


50,000 Myspace songs which were downloaded in 2008 for a Ph.D. thesis have made their way up to the Internet Archive!

Announcement
Collection
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:50 PM on March 20 [4 favorites]


That's extremely good news! Thank you for sharing it, vibratory manner of working!
posted by daisyk at 8:43 AM on March 22






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