A note to young folks: download the things you love

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Many years ago, my favorite podcast was The Totally Rad Show. It was a fun video podcast where the hosts reviewed movies, games, TV shows, and other general nerd stuff. The hosts were Jeff Cannata (who last year I called the podcasting GOAT), Dan Trachtenberg (who went on to direct 10 Cloverfield Lane and last year's Prey), and Alex Albrecht (who seems to have a nice life going, but is less in the public eye today).

Anyway, I linked to the show's Wikipedia page because the original episodes are no longer available to download from the official source (here's an archived version). Happily, a kind soul has recently uploaded many episodes to YouTube, but that's just lucky, and those aren't guaranteed to be eternal either.

Back in the day, you could stream shows like this, but more often than not you would download them and watch them locally. That's what I did, so I had every episode on my computer at one point, but I deleted each one when I was done with it. In retrospect, I wish I'd saved most of these episodes to an external drive.

This applies to other things as well. There are little internet videos from the pre-YouTube days that I think about and would love to see again, but can't. There are versions of songs that you can't get on streaming services. There are just some things I remember from years ago that I can't see again, and that's a shame.

Things on the internet can be forever, but you can't assume someone else will keep them going, especially when it's stuff like video, which costs real money to host. If you love something, try to get a local copy and store it on a hard drive you control.

For video content around the web, I highly recommend trying out yt-dlp, which is an astoundingly great command line tool for downloading video from most big sites.