Music-Related Pages on Myspace

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According to an article published by The Verge, MySpace has accidentally deleted music and other files uploaded between 2003 and 2015, so all saved playlists are now gone. An email was sent to Redditor by u/austinjckson, who is the company’s privacy data officer, confirming that due to a server migration issue, the data was corrupted and could not be retrieved anymore or transferred to the uploading site. 

According to CBS News, MySpace has unveiled, that as an unintended result of their server migration project, all the photos, music, and audio files of more than three years ago are no longer available. The company has apologized to all affected for the inconvenience.  The MySpace announcement, reportedly made in a since-removed banner on its site, came after participants in a tech-focused group on Reddit called attention to the deletion of, by some accounts, more than 50 million songs from 14 million artists.  Furthermore, a former chief technology officer of the Kickstarter platform took this issue to social media and posted a tweet about being skeptical of whether this deletion was a mistake or something else. 

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Indy 100 revealed that millions of tracks including those that launched the careers of stars like Lilly Allen, Kate Nash, and Arctic Monkeys were lost. MySpace has suggested to users to retain their backup copies. In an article published by Global News, it was said that users were outraged to know that their mp3 files were never automatically backed up after they were uploaded to the site. 

MySpace has further said that there is no way to recover the data, and then issued an apology. Tech expert Andy Baio has pointed a finger at MySpace, expressing his skepticism that it was just an accident. He added that “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.” In short, for Baio, “accidentally losing the files” was actually a cost-cutting measure for MySpace. 

A New York-based musician, Heath Waterman, has been uploading music online for decades. He is into different music genres like folk, experimental, and bluegrass, and he has a good fan following on SoundCloud.  Waterman told Inverse during an interview that he has at least three music-related pages on MySpace, and when he tried to revisit his old recordings in the pages, he saw that all of them were gone—an entire era of his music career simply ceased to exist. 

He said that left him heartbroken, and he tried to search for hours to recover the lost data but all in vain. After the revelation of deletion by MySpace and Baio, Waterman commented that he has always been on edge regarding his recordings on MySpace, thinking that something would happen, and that he will not be able to access his old accounts. But he never thought that all his recordings would actually be deleted.  Many preservationists and curators have said that the world has feverishly updated from analog to digital, and institutions collected technology work without taking into consideration how to preserve their archives. This problem is acute for artists whose platform is digital. 

A lot of people became sentimental upon hearing this sad news, as they were emotionally attached to their music recordings and they had some memories attached to those songs. Global News has collected the tweets posted by people from all over the world who are expressing their rage and sentiments upon losing their data. A Reddit user said that his son recorded a song when he was 7 years old and now he is no more and the song is also gone. The user expressed that he would do anything to listen to his son’s voice again.

There are no further comments from the MySpace data officer, stated CBS News. The Verge said that losing music recording is a truly big loss, and it is compounded by the fact that the company has also lost all the photos and videos uploaded during the same time frame, which is probably a bigger shock for the users. CBS News reported that at one time, MySpace was the fastest-growing social network, and it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s Group in 2005. It was again sold in 2011, this time to a digital ad company for $35 million. It was subsequently sold once more to Time Inc.’s Viant in 2016. 

It is pretty much hard to believe that someone will rely on MySpace for the protection of their data, and if one has forgotten to back them up until now, then they are equally to blame should they lose their file again. The MySpace incident should serve as a warning that even in the digital space, nothing stays forever.

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