Do you remember your early days of finding music online? How did you find your favorite music back then?
I think my first attempt to find MP3s online was with Napster. But I didn't use it too much because it had so many fakes, or mislabeled tracks, on it. I think it may have had some connection issues too (centralized server), maybe long wait times?, and then it got shut down fairly quickly. I found a much better alternative with OpenNAP servers. Soon after that I found SoulSeek, and AudioGalaxy, and a few other platforms. It was difficult to find niche items, but there was an explosion in sharing the files back then, which has only continued through other platforms to today.
How was the overall experience in the early days? Thrilling? Frustrating? Did you give up? Were you up all night looking for tracks? Were you just collecting? Or actually listening to the stuff you found?
I remember late nights looking for tracks, or waiting to get tracks (sometimes you'd have to wait for a download slot because on some platforms, I think only one person was allowed to download a file at a time?, and sometimes you'd have to wait your turn). Sometimes there were slow connections. Some users had impressive collections, and I discovered new artists that I hadn't heard of. This was before YouTube existed, and before there were all of the recommender algorithms on most of these music sites (where they recommend similar artists, or what other people liked or clicked on, etc.). It was also before some of the music torrent sites came along (I was on OiNK and what.cd before they shut down, then I didn't have a ticket into any of the successors). After the torrent sites came out, it was more about collecting than listening, but in the early days, I listened to everything I found. Those were some fun times back then.
Do you remember your earliest days of finding music online? How did you find your favorite music back then? How was the overall experience in the early days? Thrilling? Frustrating? Did you give up? Were you up all night looking for tracks? Were you just collecting? Or actually listening to the stuff you found?