The year is 2006. High-angle selfies, swept bangs, and ill-advised home recordings are the building blocks of online identity. The scaffolding for this cultural growth was MySpace, the social network where bands like From First to Last and The Devil Wears Prada posted music and courted a following alongside sheltered teens from rural Arkansas.
Now, any music (or photos or video) uploaded to MySpace between 2003 and 2015 may no longer be accessible through the service, according to user reports that were confirmed by the company in a statement to the BBC.
“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace," MySpace said in a statement, the BBC reported. "We apologize for the inconvenience."
I tested my own high school indie rock on MySpace—which shall never be divulged—and the files no longer play. It’s entirely possible that those songs, as bad and poorly-recorded as they were, might not exist in any other format.
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There is an element of mystery around the supposed “loss” of data—server migrations happen, and usually companies are pretty good about making sure a huge amount of data encompassing more than a decade doesn’t just disappear. Additionally, users reported issues playing music uploaded to MySpace pre-2015 more than a year ago.
MySpace spokespeople were not immediately available to comment.
Before the rise of Soundcloud and Spotify, an untold number of artists contributed to the churn of new, angsty music competing to be auto-played on gothed-out MySpace profiles. There is no doubt that the loss of data constitutes millions, maybe even tens of millions, of songs uploaded to MySpace between 2003 and 2015. Now, all those regional, lower-tier screamo bands will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
It’s just one more reminder that if you let a corporation take care of your precious memories, you’re headed straight for heartbreak, kiddo. Cue the breakdown.
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