[Hype Hype Hooray] How The Ridiculous Wrath of Technology Made My Nightmares a Reality

Every [two weeks?] Jamie Hale takes a long, hard look at the music industry and the blog scene that feeds it. Here, he releases those findings and makes snarky, sarcastic remarks. Admittedly, both Jamie and Knox Road are a part of this scene. So sue us.

I would sometimes have waking nightmares about my external hard drive crashing. All my photos, documents and, most importantly, my music would slip through my fingers like sand, into the dark netherworld where deleted data rests eternally (I imagine it as something like this). But fear not, I would run to my computer, plug in the ol’ external and rest easy to the comforting sound of the electric hum. “Don’t worry,” the hum would say, “your music is safe with me.”

Apparently that hum is a fucking liar.

Just as I was transferring music from my hard drive to my laptop, my girlfriend, Brittany (can I just refer to her as Brittany? Are we at the point? I think we’re at that point), tripped over the wire plugging it into the wall. She feels terrible about it and probably will for a long time, but shit happens and who am I to hold it against her? What this apparently means, however, is all my data is lost forever. Boom baby. Gone. That’s all it takes to crash these things. I thought this was the 21st century! My mistake!

The immediate question is “what now?” What do we music freaks do when all of our sweet, sweet tunes vanish into thin air? (For you older people, I’ll equate this to waking up one morning only to find all of your CDs, records or cassettes stolen overnight.) Stage one is denial. I haven’t opened my iTunes or even taken a single peek at Pitchfork since The Incident. New music? What’s that? All I know is what’s already on my iPod. For all I know the world of music has come to a standstill.

Stage Two is making sure there’s absolutely no way to retrieve it, because stages three and four, acceptance and recovery, are miserable ordeals that should be avoided at all costs. I’m still trying to get myself to plug the hard drive into my computer again, just to see if that error message is gone. Maybe I’ll try another Mac and see if it works there. Maybe I can transfer everything to an online storage system or another hard drive. But the question of the hour is what if can’t? What then?

Do I go back and get every single album I ever owned? That’s over 20,000 songs–nearly 110GB of music. How do I even begin to do that? It would take months, maybe years to recover it all. Sometimes I think to myself that this might be a blessing in disguise. Maybe I had too much music and this will help me clear my head. That thought doesn’t get very far.

But there is a lesson in all this. Back in the days of vinyl, you just had to worry about fire, flood and theft taking away all your music. With CDs, there was the great deterioration scare that lasted all of a few years before digital music took over the world. Now, we have to worry about fire, flood, theft and absurd acts of the digital gods. We have to try so much harder to make sure our music stays safe. It’s an investment, and it’s a worthy one.

Listen to me, all doom and gloom over here. Yeah, it sucks, but hey! It’s Friday! Why don’t we all go out and enjoy ourselves or something? After all, shit happens.

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