December 02, 2003
Goodbye MP3 and All That

Today it is reported that the million song music archive at MP3 is to be lost in the transfer of ownership to CNET.

CNET announced it will scrub's servers of all content at midnight December 2, stranding an estimated 250,000 independent recording artists and 40 million subscribers worldwide. The popular website was launched by Michael Robertson in 1997 and by the year 2000 had reached its peak with 1.6 million songs. In 2001, the company was sold to global media giant Vivendi Universal who then sold the company to CNET.

This is a dumb move for a company which purportedly wants to offer a music download service. (CNET announced last week that it plans to offer a music upload and download destination for independent artists early next year. The company did not reveal why it is being required to delete the existing database, but says its new service would support more than 2.4 million downloads per day.)

Primetones' David Blumberg comments, "The loss of these audio files is a catastrophe that may be felt for generations to come. Never before in music history has there been such a complete collection of legally recorded music available to the online community.'s hard drives contain art of immense cultural significance. Imagine an anthropologist, 100 years from now, digging through this music. He will not care what the Billboard rankings were—he will only know that artists of the late 20th and early 21st century created an amazingly diverse and valuable body of music."

Posted by tstubbs at December 02, 2003 11:41 PM
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