Not my usual post but I must share. This is the content of an email I received Monday.
Dear Friend of the FMA,
It is with great sadness that we send this message. We regret to inform you that due to a funding shortage, the FMA will be closing down later this month. The future of the archive is uncertain, but we have done everything we can to ensure that our files will not disappear from the web forever. The full audio collection will be backed up and available at https://archive.org/details/freemusicarchive (some of the collection is already there; feel free to go browse).
We are also partnering with Archive-It to preserve a current copy of the site’s public pages in the Wayback Machine. FMA audio will also be added to the Creative Commons project CC Search, a search engine for the Commons, later in 2019.
The site may go down as early as November 9th, so now’s the time to download your playlists, favorite songs, and do whatever personal archiving you need.
Want to help us preserve the FMA or make your own custom FMA collection? You have two good options:
1) Go to https://webrecorder.io/, make a free account and record some browsing sessions. You can save pages, search results, and much more using this tool (I’ve already done some serious browsing & recording – check out my collections here). If you want to share your sessions with us, we can compile a crowdsourced repository. The site may go down at the end of this week, so if you are going to do this, please do it soon.
2) Go to the Wayback Machine homepage and plug in the URLs you want to save. These are then archived for the public to use. There are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox that make this super-easy. Some pages are saved already, but many of them are outdated, so save away!
Share this information far and wide; we don’t want our hard work (and amazing collection) to be forgotten. There is hope that we can find a new parent organization to help us continue the project, but for now, we must take a break and figure out the best course to proceed. We are interested in hearing from anyone who wants to offer web development help, funding, nonprofit status, or has other suggestions. There will be a comment form on the site for this purpose; please put your feedback there.
Thanks, most of all, to you – our amazing community! From the volunteers who helped us maintain the site and bring new artists on board, to the curators and bands whose contributions diversified our collections, to our funders, to the folks that used the site everyday and made it the legendary corner of the web that it truly was. It was an amazing nine years, and we are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
I took these people and this site for granted. Like most people today I had eight million things to deal with and not enough money to share as much as I would have liked. As soon as I read this I dropped everything, signed up with Webrecorder and began archiving. I will continue to do so until they go down. So if the blog seems silent or if unfinished but scheduled post went up, now you know why. If you love any music, do creative work of any kind or just appreciate people who share their creations under a creative commons license please give them a goodbye visit and see what is being lost. Maybe you have a way to help. Unfortunately the comment form link does not work, even in my original email. Bummer.
By the way the Webrecorder is amazing. Not only does it record the pages and all the visual material, when I click the play button, it saves the music too. Check them out if you have things worth saving or do research, it’s light years beyond “Save page as”.