The Restoration of the Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA)


In 1993, the Internet Underground Music Archive (aka IUMA) was founded by three University of California at Santa Cruz students: Jeff Patterson, Jon Luini and Rob Lord. According to Wikipedia, IUMA was an organization that provided an online “venue for unsigned artists to share their music and communicate with their audience” and its “goal was to help independent artists use the Internet to distribute their music to fans while circumventing the usual distribution model of using a record company.” In 1998, IUMA was sold to EMusic and with the company’s demise, IUMA was shutdown in 2006. (A more complete IUMA history can be found at

Filmmaker, historian and archivist Jason Scott has restored all of IUMA that was saved (by John Gilmore) and it now lives at Internet Archive.

Oh, you are in for a treat and a hell of a lot of modern musical history just got saved. This is over 25,000 bands and artists, and over 680,000 tracks of music. That number sounds made up, but I’m not kidding – six hundred and eighty thousand songs are in this collection. I did a back-of-the-google-calculator check and came up with 243 days of music – solid, 24-hour days of songs. You could leave it running now and look up in 2013 as your playlist ran out.

…This should all be considered 1.0 – if I find more ways to pull in information properly, I’ll do so. And naturally I’ll ensure the original, before-jason-messed-with-it data is stored safely away so the next set of folks can try better techniques to get it back.

It once was lost, and now it is found.

Let the music play.

IUMA featured on the Week in Rock on MTV in November of 1994.

A piece from CNN’s “Showbiz News” on IUMA, the Internet Underground Music Archive, from 3/9/1994.

via GigaOM

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff