The Free Music Archive (FMA), one of the biggest sources of freely downloadable, high quality music, is shutting down this month due to lack of funding.
The FMA launched in 2009 as a platform for artists to share their work with no subscription fees. All tracks are available to download free of charge under Creative Commons licenses, which allow others to use them in their own projects. Musicians can also use the site to network with listeners, and fans can donate ‘tips’ to support their favorite artists.
The Verge reports that the FMA is in talks with four organizations about potentially taking over the project, but the site as we know it will close on November 16.
“Having been the captain of this rickety ship for years, I share some grief and anger about the huge loss this shuttering represents to musicians, filmmakers, educators, podcasters, radio DJs, video game designers, the Commons, and to the online community at large,” said director Cheyenne Hohman. “But I also have a persistent sense of wonder at the amazing things that this site has made possible: connections spanning continents, age groups, genre affiliations.£
The closure was originally scheduled for November 9, and Hohman hopes that the delay will give time for it to be cached. “The site may stay up a little bit longer to ensure, at the very least, that our collections are backed up on archive.org and the Wayback Machine,” she says.
However, while a cached copy would preserve the site, it will cease to be an active platform that serves the creative community.
“If it just goes into archive.org, it’s going to be there in perpetuity, but it’s not going to be changing at all,” Hohman says. “It’s not going to be the same thing, that sort of community and project that it was for […] almost 10 years.”