MySpace has confirmed that music uploaded to the service between 2003 and 2015 has been lost, with no hope of recovery.
It’s been a year since the music links on Myspace stopped working; at first the company insisted that they were working on it, but now they’ve admitted that all those files are lost: “As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from Myspace. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copiesCory Doctorow / Boing Boing
As Doctorow goes on to point out, MySpace may be the latest of the ‘early movers’ to force the reality of ephemeral cloud storage on its user base, but it’s an issue every service will deliver at some point in their future.. Twitter is not always going to be there to send messages, Facebook will not always be there for your pictures and life moments, Tumblr may disappear and take your carefully crafted gifs and replies… if there are digital artefacts that are precious to you, you need to take care of them yourselves at a local level
In part this reiterates my point about being able to export data from cloud services, but it is also a reminder that you need to think ahead.
I still maintain a large MP3 collection on my computers (and have them backed up to hard drives) because I can’t rely on Spotify to always be there… or to maintain an album in its collection (Keep Of Kalessin’s fifth album ‘Reptilian‘ was on the service at one point, it’s not there any longer).
My post talking about my initial diagnosis of epilepsy is online in a number of places, but if I went searching for it on Facebook to link to it, that’s a heck of a lot harder than just pointing to it on my blog.
Using services to amplify your message or preserve your memories is a smart idea. What’s smarter is making sure the message and the memories stay with you, not a computer in a rack in a server room in a disused warehouse in Silicon Valley behind a sign that says “beware of the Web 2.0 investor with a drag-along clause”.