I invite you to take a trip with me, down a lane to a place you have perhaps not traveled to before, or at the very least recently. Now imagine: You are listening to internet radio, nodding your head to the beat, thinking to yourself, “My, but this is a good song.” So you quickly (using this program) call up the name and artist of the song and write it down (type it into a blank Text Edit document, or even one contained within your Documents folder called, conveniently, “song wish list”), thinking “I’ll have to get that song sometime.” Over the ensuing weeks, you go to work, you meet people that are mean and rotten, you work long hours in a hot school (this is summer, remember, they don’t turn on the air conditioning then) unpacking fifty pound machines, and eventually you wear out to the point where you hate all of humanity. Mankind, you think to yourself (or shout from a megaphone at the park if you’re ambitious instead of spineless), is composed entirely of slugs and unsightly insects, with few small animals and furry children. Then you come home one day with a song you’ve heard once stuck in your head. It’s head-noddingly good. Fortunately you keep a song wish list for just these occasions and you discover that the song you have stuck in your head is there– the artist and the title. Googling for just the title leaves you wearing uncomfortable underwear that doesn’t belong to you, bringing up songs that were bad in the eighties and are worse now. Adding the artist to your search along with some salt and a twenty returns matches that have references to your song. Clicking on a likely one gives you information that is much needed to track down this song, which is nice, but not as nice as what comes after: the song is free. You can download it. Right now. For nothing (good because you just dropped a twenty on a Google search). Your hopes lift, blood comes back into your feet and you get that tingling sensation. Further clicking around on the site (while you’re downloading the song, of course) takes you to Internet Archive’s Netlabels page. It seems to be yet another one of those undergroundish internet things that you’re always stumbling on, and it provides lots of good music. For free. Under the Creative Commons license, too. At this point, while you’re downloading other music and listening to the stuff you’ve already gotten, your faith in humanity is suddenly restored. You like people and rainbows again, and were it not raining and dark outside, you would gladly skip through a few fields of flowers with a dopey grin on your face.
Okay, I’m done with that, but you should really take a look around. I just think it’s cool that places like that exist on the internet. That, my friends, is what it’s supposed to be about, not that commercial dotcom internet startup company crap. People, and the stuff they made, sharing freely with other people.