#36. Your first illegal music download

You heard about this Mp3 thing from a friend. You had no idea what it stood for, and you were perplexed by how they were able to jump from Mp1 to Mp3 without ever hearing anything about it. Either way, you just wanted to see if what they said about it really was true.

You first downloaded Winamp and started searching illegal sites for song listings.

2pac “Changes”. 1998. That was my first song. I wanted it BADLY.

It should have been simple. I found a site with the song (pre Napster). A 5MB file at my computer’s 2.8 KB/sec max download speed should have taken:

5000KB/2.8KB = 1785 sec/60sec = 30 MIN.

That was a best case scenario, of course. Factor in random phone calls disconnecting AOL, an average download speed of 1.4 KB/sec, and song host abandonment where you hopelessly watched the estimated time to completion skyrocket towards infinity…

Real download time: 2 days.

Even though it was free, the time spent checking and rechecking the download status felt like work, and in a sense, you felt like you EARNED that stolen song.

You forget about getting sued by the music industry for that day, because now it was your song and you made your first step into a bigger world. 10 more songs to go and you can finally burn your first mixtape cd. Score!

Photo source: 1, 2

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