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The Internet is amazing, and

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 21, 2001

The Internet is amazing, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Here’s why:

Late in March, after hearing some rumors about some tracks from Radiohead’s new album being available on Napster, I logged on to poke around. Twenty minutes later, I had 7 or 8 songs on my hard drive. It turned out that none of the tracks were actually by Radiohead; they were all by other artists and had been renamed to fool people into downloading them. I actually liked one of the misnamed songs though, so I kept it and threw it into my regular rotation.

Yesterday while listening to the mystery song, I decided to ask my readers if they knew who the song had actually been done by. About 30 minutes after I posted the mp3 file, my friend Kelly AIMed me saying that the link to the song was bad. After I sheepishly corrected the link, she downloaded and listened to the song, confident that she could solve the mystery. She didn’t know the answer right off the bat but suggested that the lyrics were not in English, something that hadn’t really occurred to me because I can never understand lyrics in songs, even when they are in English.

Kelly eventually suggested that I check out this Icelandic band (Sigur Ros) that is apparently all the rage with the kids. I followed the link she sent me, which in turn linked to CDNow, where I began listening to samples off of their latest album. Song #5 turned out to be my mystery song. I then hopped over to Amazon, my online music retailer of choice, and found the album there as well.

Because Amazon kicks ass in a lot of ways, the album page informed me that my friend Maura had ordered this very selection at some point. I AIMed her and asked if she liked the album. She replied with an estatic “YES!” Not wanting to argue with Maura about music, I ordered two copies of the disc from Amazon, one for me and one for Kelly for helping me sleuth out the song’s identity.

Real and complex social interaction is impossible online? The Web is an ineffective medium for business to consumer commerce? Online music downloads and listening don’t stimulate music sales? Nonsense, I say. Nonsense!

Another lesson learned yesterday: heavy site traffic + MP3 downloads = server “issues”.

holy bandwidth, batman