While there is nothing quite like Napster anymore for free music, AlbumBase.com certainly was close. The site was like a P2P network except instead of downloading questionable software and hosting the files on your own computer/Internet connection you would upload full albums to various gray-market file hosting sites like Rapidshare.com and then send the link to AlbumBase.com. AlbumBase acted as a middle man letting you search their database of links that would take you off site to download a complete album. The community really blossomed for the couple of years I have been using it. And the devoted fans constantly keep the selection of music up to date, they had pretty much everything I was looking for all the time.
But on November 7th, the site went dead. Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired reported on a rumor that the RIAA/FBI was responsible for the 404’d site but none of the rumors were ever confirmed. Calls to the Seattle police, the Seattle FBI department, the IFPI, the RIAA, and the BPI (the IP address of AlbumBase’s web server puts it in Great Britain) to try to figure out what exactly is going on turned up nothing. It’s a sad, sad day for mooching-music lovers like myself. Now what will I do?
Oh wait, AlbumHunt.com does pretty much the same thing and has an extensive collection of links already. Never mind, the beat goes on. Piracy never dies.