In Memoriam: LimeWire

We paid our respects to the most extraordinary peer-to-peer illegal music sharing program in history.

Jennifer Cooley: 

Do you even remember the level of anxiousness you would feel when you had four songs at 75% download completed, and your mom was giving you two more minutes before you had to log off of the internet so she could call Aunt Kathy and talk about bullshit for 45 minutes? DO YOU EVEN REMEMBER?!?

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To me, it’s not even about the greatness of LimeWire that really has me in my feelings. It’s this notion that at some point, everything music technology-wise will be a distant memory as the next great thing comes along. I remember using LimeWire and thinking to myself, “this is the pinnacle of music listening. I dial-up, download “Work it’ from LimeWire, drag it into my desktop, and then burn it onto a C.D or on my iPod. How the hell did people listen to music 10 years ago??” Inevitably, however, the next great thing comes along, and we ask ourselves that exact same question. It seems ridiculous now to even consider having to bother with C.D’s, much less download seven different versions of ‘My Humps’ to find the right one to put on your mix “Junior Year of High School Bitchez!!!” that you wrote in bubbly letters with a sharpie. Still, it’s what you had to do.

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Did this person just misspell their friend Manny’s name, or are these slow jams mix intended for many people of all shapes, sizes, and beliefs? The world will never know.

Pandora fell victim to this same sad reality that technology, and specifically music technology, moves at an incredible speed. The way you listen to music today may not be the way you listen to it tomorrow. You want to make a ton of money? We should spend all of our free time racking our brains trying to figure out a better way to stream and listen to music than what Spotify, ITunes, and Tidal are currently offering. There would be a billion-dollar payday waiting for us and another in memoriam article to write about on this shitty website.

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Levy: 

I would have no respect for you if you were a Kazaa over LimeWire person. Kazaa had an infinite amount of files posing as “great quality!- California Love.mp3” that were actually two minutes and thirty five seconds of a person moaning an orgasm with a fifteen second plug at the end for some now defunct porn service. Don’t ask how I made it all the way to the end of a corrupt file to know that advertisement was in there. Also, who were these people who were providing all of this free music to us at the other end? God knows I never passed on a song nor had the understanding of how to do so. I also never met anyone who was a LimeWire song sharer. I guess what I’m trying to say is if that was you, the faceless hero who gave up your free time to provide us with the whole album to the movie Wild Wild West, I thank you. We all thank you.

A final memory that sticks with me throughout the LimeWire experience is being fifteen, mystified at how easy it was to secure free illegal music in the aftermath of Napster. I kept waiting to dial-up to AOL, log on to LimeWire, and have Officer Daily of the Pembroke Pines police bust down my door for illegal possession of ‘The Dedication 2’. Did the record industry just put all their money into the Napster basket and run out of resources to fight the illegal downloading of Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani? If so, that shit is bananas. B..A…N…Alright, I’ll stop. But not before I pay my last respects to the most essential service for any high schooler from 2000-2006. Here are the songs I learned every word to thanks to LimeWire:

  1. Celine Dion- All Coming Back to Me
  2. B.G- Bling Bling
  3. Mystikal- Shake ya Ass
  4. Tupac- Hit Em Up
  5. Sporty Thieves- No Pigeons (The “man’s” rebuttal to ‘No Scrubs’. Super crucial for building a sense of self and dignity in the wake of Alina Rodriguez calling you a scrub in the middle of 7th grade lunch)

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