Since the whole GYBO cease and desist thing, it was kind of inevitable that the number of MP3s linked on the GYBO tracker would only be decreasing. To reduce the frustration of clicking on the link for a track and getting nothing but a 404, I’ve set a script running (as I type this) that is checking all the MP3 URLs to make sure only the ones that are still online are linked to.
What with the GYBO page being a podcast and all, you could argue that the whole thing is simply a tragic example of what is the increasingly common phenomenon of “podfade“. It’s an amazing testament to how up its own arse the current generation of web users are that they could come up with a whole new term for simply “giving up”. Having a long and rich history of giving up on hobbies myself I’ve never felt cause to coin terms such as Guitarfade, Swimdecline or even Unicyle-evanescence. It would be unthinkable for such a forward thinking group of people who could put actual audio files on the internet to come forward and admit that they couldn’t really be arsed after all or that it turns out their kids needed feeding or maybe the job that pays off their mortgage is more important than a half an hour of audio a week. No, they’re the unwitting victims of “podfade”, struck down like innocent victims of a fatal disease.
Then there’s the other direction – podcasts that you have to pay for. Whilst I don’t think anyone could possibly criticise Ricky Gervais and his team for being one of the first podcasts to charge (God knows I didn’t want to hear another Channel 4 ad read by a poor quality impressionist) I’m fully expecting Mr Gervais to discover 2004’s buzzword – Bit Torrent. At $7 for 4 half hour episodes, that’s just a tiny bit too expensive to warrant a purchase and publishing on iTunes is just a tiny bit too much hastle than clicking on the inevitable .torrent link on PirateBay.org, especially now that Opera has a bit torrent client built into it.