I was looking through old entries of Triumphs & Tribulations and I came across one from Volume II on this date in 2002. One of the delivery drivers I worked with at Domino’s Pizza was upset because I backed out of an agreement to purchase some CDs he was putting together for me. A couple of days before, I had met Valorie Drew and amongst the things we talked about in our first phone conversation was music. She had a very robust CD collection and offered to let me copy some of her library to my own Windows Media Player. All of a sudden, I didn’t need those burned CDs. I wrote in that entry, regarding the dustup: “it is what it is”. Copying the actual album to my Windows Media Player as opposed to a ripped version from LimeWire ensured I’d have the best quality. It was a no-brainer. All of this brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: LimeWire.
How I first came across this moment? A friend of mine in Yahoo! Chat mentioned it being a place to download free music. What she didn’t mention by free is that she meant illegal. The 17-year-old version of myself didn’t care about that. I downloaded the application to my Compaq Presario 1200. I opened it up and started a journey of getting free stuff off the Internet.
What it meant to me then? At the time in February 2002, LimeWire didn’t really impress me. The files took a long time to download…but that probably had something to do with me using a 56k modem. I remember it taking 2 ½ hours to download the first song—M2M’s “Mirror Mirror”. That’s the primary reason why I reached out to my dude at Domino’s: he had a DSL modem, which was several times faster. Music wasn’t the only thing I downloaded off LimeWire. The porn collection I amassed in my late teens and early 20s was all acquired via LimeWire…especially when I got the faster connections. I loved LimeWire though. It saved me a lot of money and I often ended up with downloads of stuff not released in the United States. The only thing I hated was the corrupted and dirty files. I certainly got my money’s worth with my computer’s antivirus protection.
What it means to me now? LimeWire isn’t around anymore. It was shutdown after a battle in the courts with the Recording Industry Association of America. By the time that happened though, I hadn’t used the application for about 3 years. Today, all of my downloads are clean—that is to say, I pay for them. That doesn’t take away from what LimeWire meant to me and millions of other users in the P2P file sharing community. It was fantastic for the purpose it served.