Zia Hassan

I Miss Mp3Com 2

Sometimes, I miss MP3.com. It was one of the first services ever that allowed amateur musicians to just upload Mp3s of their homemade recordings and even order custom CDs with artwork and everything. It wasn’t super fancy, but man, it was cool back in 1999.

There was this quick-release attitude with musicians on the site. You’d have to check back every now and then with your favorite bands to see if there was new music. You could stream the music in lo or hi fi or even pay for a download (and free downloads were like a gift).

Then, somewhere in between now and then, releasing music got complicated, and the trends changed often. At one point, everyone was doing the 2007 Radiohead thing and allowing listeners to pay what you want for full albums. Then, there was a movement to make albums sacred again, and vinyl had a resurgence. Then, Spotify took over and now everything is streaming all the time and the album is kind of a lost art.

And there’s all sorts of promo around album releases, pre-saving on Spotify, hype, and more hype.

Call me old fashioned, but I long for the days that I would record something on my computer microphone, send it to MP3.com and move on to the next thing. Some of those songs were hits (as much as a hit could be with a high school crowd), some were not.

Perhaps if we removed all the hype, all of the necessary pre-announcing and Twittering when new music is coming out, artists would feel empowered to make a thing and then move on to another thing. Maybe it would encourage prolificness.

And if artists are being prolific, most likely the quality of their work is increasing too.

A guy can dream, right?