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The Good Old Days

I was just downloading and arranging some music on my machine, and recalled how I used to acquire mp3 files, back in the infancy of my internet music fetish, in 1998. The method by which files were principally downloaded in those days, if you weren't lucky enough to find a good link to a file, sitting conveniently on a web page found with a popular search engine of the time, like hotbot, excite, altavista,, or, you would have to do an ftp search.

I recall going to, when it was an ftp index of mp3 ftp servers, primarily located on college campuses around the US, Canada, Australia, East Asia, and Western Europe. I would search for a particular song, and would be given a list of results- all ftp servers -and would have to plug a server IP address, username, and password into my preferred ftp client at the time, leechftp. Then, once you did that, it might have about a 50% chance of working. About half the time, it would be a wild goose chase of ftp welcome messages that tell you to go and vote for their site to get access.

But, the times that it worked, there was your file, sitting right there. But, before you could download it, you had to upload something to the server, to "credit" your session with allowed data to download. They called it "ratio" downloading. I personally thought it was a brilliant idea. Using this requirement, I was able to spread the music of bands that I especially liked, but that didn't enjoy a great degree of fame, especially in the Pacific Rim.

Then, in my experience, napster came along, and changed everything. I haven't logged into an ftp server for over six years, to download mp3 files. I don't even run an ftp client, an absolute essential for any geek in 1998, on my computer anymore. Now, the procurement of digital music have been simplified and awesomified with Soulseek and Allofmp3. How times have changed. I worry for the future, though.

4:46 PM, Jun 27, 2006


chrizow chimed in with:

soulseek is AWESOME!

i have two usernames on there: chrizow and chrizow2

i download about 10 albums a day. now that i have a 160-gig hard drive, i am unstoppable.

word on the street is that, since soulseek is a relatively small player in the P2P world, and since it is based in scandanavia, the RIAA and US Fed Govt isn't going to try and bust it or make Soulseek dump its' user information. since it is so global in scope, it isn't worth it, or something...

long live soulseek.

5:51 PM, Jun 27, 2006

bahua was sure you'd want to know:

Yeah, soulseek made it easy again. It just works. Stopping soulseek will be pretty difficult for anyone, due to its entirely distributed, decentralized nature.

Way to go, with the five minute comment!

7:34 PM, Jun 27, 2006

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