Internet Underground Music Archive

edited December 2012 in General
I came across this site via a link from Dhaun on the emusic message board. I'm sure some people here already know about it, but I certainly didn't. It has even been part of emusic at one stage until they dropped it. As its introduction says:
A description of the IUMA from the excellent site:
The Internet Underground Music Archive was better known by the acronym IUMA. The IUMA was started in 1993 by three students at the University of California at Santa Cruz: Jeff Patterson, Jon Luini and Rob Lord. The three men worked together to create an online music archive that would help musicians and bands who weren't signed by a major label. The site allowed these unsigned artists to upload files and send them to fans. The site also enabled the artists the opportunity to talk with their fans. The IUMA was first part of the Usenet newsgroups.

In 1998, Emusic bought the Internet Underground Music Archive and changed the look and feel. Unsigned artists would sign up with the service and receive a website and URL devoted to their name. Emusic also allowed artists to use three different services to upload their music. They could use Internet radio, a live streaming feed, or a download option where fans could download the songs directly to their computer. Many of the early files were WAV and AIFF files, but they later added the option of MP2 tracks and MP3 files. The website included a special section where the artists could see the number of visitors and downloads they had received and some top visited artists received royalty checks from the company.

In the early 2000s the company held a 'Battle of the Bands' event known as Music-o-mania, which went into the record books as the biggest online contest of its kind in history. They also helped bands gain exposure by working with talk show host, Jenny Jones, who have these unsigned artists on her show.

The company was known for unusual publicity stunts. They held a contest in 2000 for expectant parents. Couples who legally named their child Iuma were entitled to receive a check for $5,000. Travis Thornhill and his wife were one of the first families to take the company up on its offer, by naming their child Iuma Dylan Lucas. Thornhill was in a band that used IUMA for business purposes and the couple thought it would make a good story. The company paid out the same amount to a number of other families, too.

In 2001 Emusic decided to reduce costs and laid off a number of employees working exclusively on IUMA. Some of those workers stayed on because they believed the website would return and be better than ever. However, in 2006, Emusic shut down the IUMA site and those workers all left. Vitaminic bought the IUMA format that same year, but the site never returned.

From the list of artists I clicked on one at random Elizabeth Jane which i liked enough to download to listen more. Certainly a site I will explore more.

Maybe if others find things to recommend they could add to this thread


  • edited December 2012
    - Thank you Greg . . .
    I've never heard of this, or just about all the names here (from a few minutes of browsing)

    But, I found a track by the one and only Walter Trout:
    Walter Trout and the Radicals - Love So headbang.gif
    - Guitar wanker par excellence !
  • emusic invented bandcamp before there was bandcamp but made it fail and dropped it?
    That figures.
  • That is exactly what I thought GP. Actually I think they bought it, made some changes which did not work, made some more changes, sacking a few people on the way and then closed it. What's new?
  • Oh, when you describe it that way it makes total sense.
  • What's new?
    Technically, eMusic. It's always at or near the vanguard of digital music, it just doesn't get it right.
  • It might not all be their fault. Sometimes it's much better to be a few rows behind the vanguard and step over their corpses into the space they opened up, armed with a little more foreknowledge.
  • Yes, I was thinking that "Xeroxing Music: Digital Innovation, Entertainment and the Fall of eMusic" would get some economics grad his master's.
  • "Betamaxing the Digital Music Market's Potential"
  • Interesting, IUMA does not appear to be linked to from the music section.

    Finding anything interesting worth listening to might be interesting, but the internet archive's wayback machine may well be the way in - (just remember that only page links work there).

    Interesting - looks as if albums have been merged onto a single artist page. Taking Brian Sparks as an example Wayback Machine, with an artist page, plus 2 album pages - and IUMA with the 10 tracks on a single page.

    Some nice music. Just a matter of finding it, but that is all part of the fun :)
  • Just a matter of finding it, but that is all part of the fun :)
    For such challenges doth emusers exist :-)
Sign In or Register to comment.