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Travesty. Biggest trove of classical music lost forever. I found CD's on there of even local friends bands, EVERYTHING was there. My friends dads bands discography that they themselves lost over 40 years ago was on there!

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.

Fully agree with your comments on how the magic of the Internet is leaving. It seems like piece by piece we lose the parts that made the Internet an exciting place.

That kind of magic just happens in cycles. We learn what was broken about the last thing and build a better one.

But that's not what has happened. The internet hasn't progressed as much as it has calcified into a couple of monolithic walled gardens. Remember when it was a wild west of creativity and everyone had their own website with painstakingly designed sprites and css? Yeah, scrolling through an instagram is so much more fulfilling. /s

The internet is boring and shitty now.

Folks felt much the same in the CompuServe, AOL and MSN days where the aforementioned big wigs had a complete monopoly on what most people saw online.

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!)

Just like What was that much better Oink, I can't begin to imagine how awesome the next one will be.

Next one? There are already tons of alternatives, but I do fear that Spotify, Tidal, Apple, and Amazon will eat much of the demand for this in the future.

Said magic was a blatant violation of copyright law and gleeful disregard of common decency. You should be happy that the Internet is finally growing up and becoming part of real life. This would never happen as long as we allow and champion unlawful websites, or allow toxic discussion.

Your comment puzzles me - as others have repeated, what.cd was a fantastic archive of music that no current museum or library has come close to achieving. This community performed preservation and organization of art and culture (and many rare works) on a huge scale. How can you perform the mental gymnastics to call that a "gleeful disregard of common decency"? If anything, the destruction of that effort is what is so "indecent".

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.

I do not understand the philosophy behind your comment. I think there's a lot of things unsaid in such a deceptively simple three sentence post and I'm not sure if I'd even like to ask you to elaborate to ascertain what lies behind your thinking. However in the spirit of open discussion: why?

WCD would have been valuable w/o downloads, just the collages alone are an incredible source of curation.

What.cd to me was a live feed of every piece of music released anywhere, tagged well enough that I could go through each week and pick out potentially interesting things I had never heard before.

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?

what do you think gave the collages more value than a playlist on something like spotify? i definitely think they felt more valuable, but cant place exactly why.

Put simply: They were more complete.

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.

Can't agree with this more.

And the efforts of hundreds of thousands of engaged music fans who deleted bad tags, promoted good ones, made the connections.

It's frustrating sending fixes to Spotify when you come across something incorrect. It takes so long for any action to be taken that I've given up.

I think it's the audience, the people participating. What.cd had a lot of very enthusiastic, competent, knowledgeable users while Spotify features a rather mainstream, general user base that takes a more passive role when it comes to music and its discovery. Obviously results will differ.

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.

Exclusivity. You had to earn the right to make a collage, and even then you only had a few so you really needed to put thought into it.

>Travesty. Biggest trove of classical music lost forever. I found CD's on there of even local friends bands, EVERYTHING was there. My friends dads bands discography that they themselves lost over 40 years ago was on there!

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?).

Oh yes, and actually classical recordings are highly litigated over. While the pieces themselves may be in public domain, differing arrangements are often under protection, and most importantly the recordings are the property of respective rights holders. So the sheet music, melody, etc. is not protected, the rights to each recording works just like other genres of music

I would pay to go to a classical concert where the entry fees were donated to charity and the recordings put in the public domain, they could be immediately uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons.

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.

Don't forget about the musicians' pay!

Yea exactly. I was thinking if a charity or organization was able to put up the money to make it happen (not just musicians pay, but facilities fees, supporting staff, etc), any extra earned through entry fees would all be donated to charity.

I don't see any reason why, especially young generations, should need monetary privilege to enjoy classical music.

There are plenty of tickets to see the London Symphony Orchestra for £10, which is the price of 2-3 beers in London.

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.



I don't live in Europe, but that's a great idea for when the times comes to visit London. Thanks

Not just London -- I used those examples because the website is in English and easily recognized.

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!

Just in case you weren't already aware there was a Kickstarter some years back to release free recordings of classical music. https://musopen.org/

I wasn't aware. Interesting!

Nice, that's awesome

Very true.

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.

I think at this point it's more than fair to declare this an absolute shit year.

I seeded someone's homemade album I discovered at Salvation Army... that was made in the 80's.

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