MySpace, one of the first social networking sites that allowed bands to share their music directly with fans, reportedly lost years of songs during a server transfer last year. Tellingly, however, the world only seems to have taken notice this week.
Today, the BBC and other outlets reported that MySpace admitted to losing music, photos, and videos uploaded during its first 12 years of operation. But these stories all appear to be citing statements shared by Reddit users last year.
“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,” reads a message one Reddit user said appeared on MySpace in July. “We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies.”
According to the Reddit user, the notice was shown on the site’s music player, but it does not appear to be there currently. The alleged notice suggested contacting MySpace’s data protection officer Jana Jentzsch for more information. (Gizmodo reached out to Jentzsch and MySpace for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.)
On that same Reddit thread, other users complained of being unable to access songs on MySpace and shared responses they said they received from the site. Another user claimed that in February of 2018 someone from MySpace support explained: “There is an issue with all songs/videos uploaded over 3 years ago. We are aware of the issue and I have been informed the issue will be fixed, however, there is no exact time frame for when this will be completed. Until this is resolved the option to download is not available.”
This would mean that music uploaded before around 2015 could have been lost.
A third Reddit user commented on the thread with a screen grab of what appears to be an email from someone at MySpace stating: “Due to a server migration files were corrupted and unable to be transferred over to our updated site. There is no way to recover the lost data.”
The issue was brought up again on the technology subreddit on Sunday. The post may have inspired BBC and other outlets to cover the issue.
A Gizmodo search found that there is still music available on the site that was uploaded by bands several years ago—for instance, the page for the death metal band Job For A Cowboy still has songs released in 2005 and 2007. However, Gizmodo searched specifically for Colin Healy and the Jetskis, the pop punk band our former news editor Harrison Weber played in, and found the page no longer features any music.
Gizmodo reached Weber for comment on the stripping of the digital edifice of his bygone music career. “Well the good thing is we saved the music on CDs. However, I feel for the other artists who may not have saved their music on CDs,” said Weber. “Honestly, it’s too bad. MySpace was pretty good. I wonder how PureVolume is doing.”
PureVolume shut down its music platform last year.