Happy Birthday AMN


Atari Music Network is 1 year old, and what a journey it has been.

Strictly speaking it is 18 months old as the original germ of the idea was brought online in June of 2009 when the sites original founder Donovan Logan bought the atarimusic.net domain and set up an account. from there it was searching for the ideal format to bring a modern website to celebrate and push what many consider to be a dead platform.

But as long as there are people out there that remember and use it, a platform is never dead...

Originally the site was to go online around October 2009 and was almost ready for launching, when disaster struck. The underlying platform that the site was built upon was hacked and the hard work put in was destroyed in a few moments, before the site was officially announced it was gone.

Luckily, with some encouragement from David Etheridge, moderator of the atari forum over on the Sound On Sound website, Donovan started again on the site and unlike the previous attempt was not learning everything as he went along. this meant that the new replacement website was put together more quickly and with lessons learned, with more attention to the smaller details which made the site so polished when officially revealed to the world on January 1st 2010.

The launch was a success, downloads, reviews and a community forum attracted a number of Atari users, but there was a larger chiptune community out there waiting to be tapped, and Donovan had plans to take the site to another level.

By March 2010, a new section of the site was being prepared and the site was attracting new members. By this time I had become involved. re-writing my old Synthesis series for the site and looking to help out with other sections where I could. By the end of Marh, the AMN Live! section of the site had launched, where members could create and upload albums of their music for other members to listen to. The scope fo the site was also expanded to include other 8 and 16 bit computers, such as the Commodore 64 and Amiga, the Amstrad CPC series. MSX and Spectrum.

As April came to a close, the site was growing with membership of the Facebook page growing and an active twitter feed, then without warning the site went offline. Any attempt to find anything related to the site was met with the internet equivalent of an eerie silence.

Members regrouped on the various forums they had been on before they joined on AMN to share both concern and disbelief. What had happened and where was the site founder? No one had any answers and over at www.atari-forum.com a number of us had come together to discuss what should be done next to replace the site, trouble was that the site had made such an impact that replacing it was going to be a mammoth task and there would be no easy or quick way of doing it. While it didn't seem hopeless, it did seem daunting.

Then there was a stroke of luck, one of the forum members had seen some of Donovan's eBay auctions earlier, just before the site went offline. with a little detective work I managed to get in touch with Donovan and we started discussions on bringing the site back and by mid-May, the Atari Music Network was back online, along with a new twitter feed and Facebook group.

From then, the site has continued to grow, with a steady increase in visitors month on month to almost double what the site was getting in June. In November the site had nearly 16,000 visits and had a massive 34GB of downloads, not bad considering the average size of an application here is less than 1MB and the average size of a music file streamed is 8MB!

I have plans for 2011, the main one of course is keeping the site alive, though I'd like to have an internet radio station asociated with the site, though quite how this will be funded I'm not too sure. There are idea's, there are plans and once they are ready I'll let you all know.

Watch this webspace...