The news earlier this year that a massive archive of songs, images, and other content posted to the formerly ubiquitous social networking site MySpace had been accidentally deleted set off pangs of nostalgia from many who grew up with that website. It also caused fears that we’re way too dependent on tech companies to safeguard our data.
Now, there’s news that some of the lost songs, but certainly not all of them, have been recovered.
According to The Verge, The Internet Archive has managed to recover 490,000 MySpace songs from the years 2008-2010. While that is a large number, they still represent less than 1 percent of the music that was lost from the mass deletion. The source of the recovered tracks was an “anonymous academic group” that had made a backup of MySpace tracks prior to the deletion. The Internet Archive posted these songs with an interface that resembles MySpace.
In March, MySpace revealed that it had accidentally deleted over 50 million songs, from over 14 million artists, that were uploaded to the service between 2003 and 2015.
“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,” the company said in a statement at the time. “We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies. If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection Officer.”
MySpace, which was the primary social network in the world prior to the rise of Facebook, was frequently used by musicians to distribute their work, as well as writers and other artists.
For a time the most popular website in the U.S., MySpace was sold at the height of its popularity in 2005 for $508 million, with News Corp. acquiring the company. However, MySpace soon began a rapid decline in both its user base and influence, with Facebook overtaking it as the world’s most popular social network by 2008.
The site, which allowed for extreme customization of its interface, allowed each user to choose a “top 8” among their friends. The company’s co-founder, Tom Anderson, was best known as “Tom From MySpace,” and he was automatically a friend of every user on the platform.
MySpace’s home page now mostly features celebrity and music news, and it also includes a feature that allows users to “Sign in with your Facebook account to find friends who are already on Myspace!”