🎧 Downbeat.fm Vol. 5 Track 6

Napster, the collapse of physical media, and the monthly playlist.

🎧 Downbeat.fm Vol. 5 Track 6

I've been online since the early/mid-90s. In that 30-year span, I've seen many memes, websites, services, platforms, and more come and go. Most notably, and possibly most world-changing, was Napster, which was released 25 years ago.

I remember logging on, searching for a song, and seeing a dozen results, ready to download. I don't know what the song was, but I remember thinking that this was a vast new world - legal or not (it wasn't legal), but for the first time, people could have almost any song at the click of a mouse... and the mercy of their download speed.

In June 1999, I was still using dial-up, so downloading one 4-minute song could take hours. On dial-up, that took over a phone line, which wasn't ideal, so I didn't download many songs in those early days.

That fall, I started taking classes at the community college in my county. They had a computer lab full of computers with crazy fast download speeds, and some student(s) put Napster on a bunch of them. I used that lab to download a bunch of songs in minutes and saved them to Zip disks, which I'd then be able to transfer to my own computer at home.

Napster eventually shut down after several lawsuits, but as they say, the horse was already out of the barn. Countless clones like Kazaa, Morpheus, Limewire, and more popped up. Record companies were freaking out and suing everyone and putting out these terrible PSAs.

Even though the record labels "won" and Napster was shut down, they lost the war. In the ten years after Napster hit the web, CD sales in the US fell by almost 70%, and revenue fell by almost 60% on all physical media sales for music. By 2014, revenue had dropped by nearly 70%.

We probably would have gotten to streaming and digital media at some point, but Napster was the nexus event that set everything in motion.

June's Playlist

This month’s playlist features Rosemary, Soccer Mommy, Pretty Sick, Chase Petra, Alex Vile, Pom Pom Squad, and more!

Check out the playlist:

There was a great Reddit thread asking people to name an album that was generation-defining and changed everything after it came out.

If you're emo but act and dress normal in the workplace that makes you a Dashboard Professional.

Genderswap.fm is a site that has user-submitted cover songs, where the gender is flipped from the coveree to the coverer.

This song lives inside my head rent free.

Paramount has pulled MTV News' website offline, taking decades of archives with it. This is 100% what the internet was created to be - a repository of information. But now the majority of the content is owned by a handful of conglomerates, behind a paywall, or both.

The cover art for Duran Duarn's Rio, next to a photo of the model used for the artwork.
Duran Duran’s Rio Cover Model Identified 42 Years Later

Deftones are most popular metal band during sex, while Nine Inch Nails rank top among BDSM enthusiasts, says study.

listen all y'all, it's a

blaine capatch (@blainecapatch.bsky.social) 2024-06-18T21:37:38.712Z

In horrible record label news (like there is any other kind of record label news), Universal Music Group is creating personalized AI voice models.