I made great friends from there and w.cd was a daily topic in my life amongst me and my friends. Sharing new music, keeping track of eachothers latest DL's etc. Top 10's, collages, related artists, bounties. I loved waking up and browsing a collage like "House music from the Congo in 1973" or something and going on a journey. All lost.
It's going to take forever to get out of this depression, that was my last community, and I've been there for a decade.
I have the WCD community to credit for who I am today as a musician and developer, as the community exposed me to all sorts of things when I was 15/16ish that I probably otherwise wouldn't have discovered. I'd probably be working sales right now or cash at some grocery store if it wasn't for WCD.
The internet is now dead to me for anything other than work. Between this and all the surveillance and social media and fake news and other bullshit, it's just another tool to me now. All the magic is gone.
What an absolute shit day.
The internet is boring and shitty now.
In fact during the 90s it really felt like there was no technological future possible beyond what Microsoft saw fit. They would literally buy out, copy and crush every upstart who had even moderate success in the technology sector.
Never know where the future will take us, or indeed where we (techies) will take it. For all we know the next what.cd might be something far beyond its current incarnation (a distributed Spotify + Slack/IRC on steroids - anyone's guess!)
It is obviously unfortunate that the collection was illegal, but this seems clearly to be a situation where copyright law has run counter to the interests of civilization as a whole. Preservation should always trump licensing - licenses will expire, music will be passed from generation to generation.
Whether I actually use the downloads or not, it allowed me to discover new bands, new genres, and music from different cultures that I would never have been able to listen to before. Where is the commercial service that offers anything close to this?
Spotify's library isn't even close to what WCD's was and is missing some copies of tracks/albums and/or just has the wrong versions flat out.
And the efforts of hundreds of thousands of engaged music fans who deleted bad tags, promoted good ones, made the connections.
Furthermore, Spotify hardly provides any tools to promote and showcase a high quality, carefully compiled playlist. I can share a link, sure, but that's the most basic of paths to new potential listeners.
It would be great if this part of the community was somehow at least saved. I can't imagine anyone suing over sharing a CD of Bach online (is that even possible under copyright law?).
I don't think stuffy execs at Sony getting rich is necessary for people to enjoy classical music. Those guys and girls should go find something useful to contribute to the humanity if their role in profiting off of dead artists has been obsoleted by technology.
I don't see any reason why, especially young generations, should need monetary privilege to enjoy classical music.
The same for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which is a registered charity.
At least in Europe, the cheapest tickets being around that price is typical.
Sometimes it's a lot cheaper -- I saw an opera in Vienna for 3EUR, and a youth orchestra (presumably a skilled one, given the venue) playing in Paris tomorrow is free!
I'm a passionate music enthusiast, buying about 5-10 releases a week, often rare stuff. While I really disaprove of using it as exclusive source of music, what.cd has always been my last-resort-source for music that would otherwise be lost or only available on 3-digit-priced vinyl. There were still a lot of gaps in the catalogue but it's probably the most complete collection of lossless music, organized in a way that is rare for user provided content online. A sublime experience.