Point d’écoute

Published by Beto Dealmeida on

A compilation of songs that I really like

At the end of 2004 I was finishing a 1-year stay in the Netherlands for my PhD. It was winter, and I would bike 30 minutes every day to the meteorological institute where I was doing my research, in De Bilt. I had a small brandless MP3 player that could hold a few albums, and I discovered a really nice compilation of free songs on a french blog called La Blogothèque. I loaded the 23 MP3s into my player and I would listen to it every day, going back and forth on my commute.

The blog page is still up, but the compilation page is long gone. It's available in archive.org, though, and I've had the MP3s since 2004, copied from hard disk to hard disk as I upgraded computers in those almost 20 years. A couple months ago I set up a Funkwhale instance for myself, and I started uploading all my songs. This week I finally upload the Point d’écoute compilation, and listening to it again after so many years made me very nostalgic and a little sad. I followed the links to the bands from the original post on the archive.org page, and I couldn't find almost any information about the artists: albums last published in 2008, domains taken over by cybersquatters, blogs last updated in 2011. The music I once loved, indie songs that I once considered great... all mostly gone, ephemeral.

The whole process made me think of "cyberarchaeology", and everything we have to explore in archive.org that is no longer available in the regular internet. And how much we lost and are going to lose in this transition from physical to digital media.