Actually, I’ve been working hard trying to clean up 10 years of accumulated infrastructure neglect — and virtual cobwebs — I’d forgotten how different the online streaming world was in 2005, before the ‘sudden’ shift to HTML5 a few years ago. (Don’t even start me on corporate-rivalry-driven web politics.)
[Actually, many of you will likely want to quit reading now — I suggest the random post link or the post shuffle in the sidebar (or footer on mobile) as an alternative — as the rest of the post deals with the trials and tribulations of the last decade of web dev uncertainties, shifting standards, and uncomfortable trade-offs as they affected AYoS. But stay tuned for my next post — where I tackle the Great Lesson I learned from plowing through a decade of impromptu acoustic recordings: Basically, I really need to work on my ‘singing’ — and it probably wouldn’t hurt to hold my guitar playing to the higher standards I’m capable of but was too lazy to worry about in the past. I’m so sick of my sloppy playing and tuneless singing. Ten years of it. LOL.]
And then there was my switch from the grotty old Blogger platform to the far more powerful and modern WordPress. [The pre-conversion ‘archives’ still exist on Blogger and can be arrived at by using some links, like the info links in the old (but still extant) Flash-based AYoS Highlights Player.]
Turns out (OK, I was well aware) that there were hundreds of (make that probably over a thousand) old play and download links that were very much Web 1.1 — structures from a decade ago (and more) when it was assumed that most people would need to download music files, stream them via the old .m3u pointer file system, or have Flash on their computers to enable the use of a more sophisticated, in-page Flash-based player.
Nowadays, modern browsers can play mp3’s and some other media files natively — which meant that all the download links in my blog had, without me doing anything, become ‘play in blank page’ links — unfortunately they still said ‘download’ on them, undoubtedly leading to much confusion but probably little hilarity. Meanwhile, my interim solution of embedded players that would toggle between Flash or HTML5 playback became less and less workable.
What to do? Go through 400 posts checking for outmoded links, dead links, bad content. One. Page. At. A. Time. Being a coder, I’d considered various programmatic scenarios — but there were enough different situations, enough idiosyncrasies, that I figured I would still be developing multiple algorithms by the time HTML6 comes along. I plunged ahead.
Thousands of links later… I think all (OK, most of) the bad links are gone.
There are probably still some problem links to full/produced versions on the old Soundclick (not Soundcloud, which came later) that had become my free music-distro point after the shutdown of the old Mp3.com in the first years of the new millennium. But I did update many of those. Still, I suspect there are a number of such links that now refer old file system URL’s — because the nice folks at Soundclick changed their link system under me, breaking old links — and they did it twice. LOL. Needless to say, I haven’t added anything to Soundclick in close to a decade.