Saturday, September 30, 2006

On My Music

Last night, my friend Amanda came over with three CDs and a bottle of gin. We poured drinks and she placed one of the CDs, which contained Windows XP, into the CD drive of my computer and proceeded to format my computer and reinstall the program. In the process, I lost all the music I had been collecting on the machine for the past five years.

All of it. All eight thousand songs. All of it. It's all gone.

I knew it would happen. My computer was so infected with spyware and viruses that I had no other option, and since the viruses had taken over my CD-burning program, I couldn't save any music (though I managed to save my pictures and documents earlier in the process).

Most of the collection was downloaded illegally - the remaining chunk was ripped from CDs I own. (I won't pay to download music. If I pay for music, I want to hold it.) It included albums that I have pulled every track off of for mix CDs, and albums I had never listened to. And now it's all gone.

Today, it feels like that collection never truly existed. Unlike my CD collection, which sits organized alphabetically in the upstairs family room of my parents' house in Toronto, the My Music collection had no material properties. It was just data. And sure, CDs only contain data, but I can hold them in my hands. They can't be wiped away with the click of a mouse.

We, as a civilization, have invested so much of ourselves into computers. But should our civilization come to ruins, it's possible we will lose everything that exists only in cyberspace. Wouldn't that be a shame?


Blogger anthony said...

9:27 PM  

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