I used to like an artist called Johnny K9. He was recommended to me by Spotify in the Discover weekly section. His music was a combination of new retrowave and chiptunes, with brutal energy.
And then, one day, this happened:
"Well", I thought. This happend before, even with more popular artists like Nightwish. The album reappeared after some time and everything was okay.
Half year later, I've realized that this is not what's going to happen this time. I've tried to google to purchase the album, and I was surprised that there were just a few places to buy it. Some random page and Apple music, which was out of my scope, as it didn't work on the Linux at that time. I didn't want to spend so much money ($14? thats like .. two months of all the music in the world on Spotify!), so I decided to wait.
Do you know that feeling of music in your head, when you can almost hear something, but not quite, and it haunts your mind? I get that a lot with Johnny K9. After a while, I decided to purchase the Album.
It used to be on Apple music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/johnny-k9/1340534991, but there is nothing now. There is also emptiness on Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/14003949, and on all other music pages. There, where Johnny K9 used to be is now just empty hole with nothing in it.
Piratebay doesn't have it. RuTracker doesn't have it. Specialized torrent trackers don't know anything about Johnny K9. I've tried to combine Google, Bing, Duckduck go and several other search engines and got nothing.
Only place that I've found on the whole internet that confirms that there ever was anything like Johnny K9 is this obscure web:
And sadly, all the links to buy the album are broken, but you can still listen to short samples.
Whole situation kinda reminds me one of the sub-plots from the book Kraken by China Miéville, where people and places disappear deleted reversely out of existence, so no one even remembers that they were there. There is now only seven results in google when querying for the album Back in the Pit:
And the number of results is going down each time I try to google it.
This brings me to the idea of data hoarding, that is to download everything you like and store it forever on your infrastructure.
It used to be, that everything that previously existed only in analog form sooner or later appeared on the internet. I was so happy when someone finally uploaded Crash zone, this stupid old Australian TV show for kids, that I used to watch as a kid and I missed several episodes and swore to myself that I'll find it once. And fifteen years later, I've been able to fulfil my promise, because it appeared available on the internet.
Nowadays, thanks to the cloud services, we are witnessing the reverse trend, that is disappearance of the stuff we used to like. For me, this was a great reminder, that cloud is just other people computers and this can happen to me, or you any time.
I try to download everything that I read, and even what I like on YouTube on my personal server. But for Spotify, I don't yet have any solution.
Anyway, I feel like there is something inherently broken with our infosphere. I shouldn't be forced to do this, just to keep the stuff I like available to me. I am willing to pay for it. But this stuff can't be bought anymore, it can't be even stolen. What happened to us?