Meet The New Blog, Same As The Old Blog

Hello friends.

Welcome back to The Midnight Cafe. As you can see there have been a few changes made, but mostly it is the same old place where you can find lots of great music. I did want to highlight what is different and explain the changes made. So here we go.

Bye, Bye MP3
: This is probably the biggest and most dramatic change on the site. I will no longer be posting MP3s except when there is no lossless file to be found. I know this is problematic for some. It is something I had been wanting to do for a long time but kept putting off so as to not cause problems. But after putting my blog down I decided that when I came back I would make this change. There are many reasons I am no longer sharing lossy files but it mainly comes down to two things: time and space. It takes quite a bit of time to convert lossless files to MP3s and to add information to them like Artist Name, Song Title, etc. Not having to take that time means I can spend more time sharing more music. While MP3s are significantly smaller than FLAC files they still take up space, and when you are storing thousands of shows like I do those smaller MP3 files add up to quite a bit of space.

I am truly sorry for anyone this inconveniences. I know some of you don’t have the bandwidth or the Internet speed to download lossless files easily. I know some of you don’t really understand how FLAC works and just want to have an MP3 you can put on your device and play. Please do feel free to add comments asking for others to upload MP3 versions of any shows or for advice on how to convert the lossless files to MP3.

Images: For those of you who don’t know the reason I took The Midnight Cafe down was due to me getting some nasty e-mails from a shady sounding law firm over what they said were copyrighted images shared on my blog. Ultimately I ignored them and they went away but it scared me enough to make this site private. Even so I’m going to be more careful about the images I post. Going forward I will only post images that I think should be safe. This includes cover art that comes with the concerts, or are easily found online. Also posters or tickets from the shows themselves. I will not be posting photos taken from the shows unless the photographer has given me permission.

That being said I absolutely submit my formal request for any and all art you all want to make. If you make your own cover art for these shows and want to share please send them to me. I love including images in my posts and I’m sure others would enjoy your art. I would also love to get some handcrafted images for my artist pages and other posts.

Artists Pages: I generally like the blog format but it does have its drawbacks, the biggest of which is its poor organization ability. Blogs by design show you the newest posts first and push older posts to the bottom of the page and then to other pages and into obscurity. Eventually, posts become so old and are so far back into the page list that they are virtually impossible to find. Categories and tags help but even then they appear in order of more recently posted. So if you click on the Bob Dylan tag you will still have to scroll through multiple pages to find a show I posted months ago. The search engine works, but then you have to know exactly what you are searching for.

To help with this I have created artists pages. Each artist will have their own page where I will list out all the shows I have posted from them in chronological order. A few of my favorite artists have their pages broken down into separate years. This way if you are trying to collect the Grateful Dead’s spring tour from 1981 you can easily see all the shows I have posted from that tour. I think this will be very helpful.

You can find the master list of artist pages by clicking the tab towards the top of the page.

Sharing: Because this blog is now private you will not be able to share my blog links publicly. I would also request that you do not share my Amazon links in public spaces either. Feel free to share them with friends via e-mail or any other private means but I would like to keep them off public blogs, social media sites and forums. If you want to download my shows and upload them to the hosting site of your choice and share that publicly that is perfectly fine. I just don’t want my Amazon, etc. links to be publicly viewable.

Bye, Bye Reposts: Before I started using Amazon to host my shows I used free accounts with just about every file hosting site out there. Often these sites would delete my shows without warning. This left loads of old posts with bad links. I periodically tried to go back and fix those bad links by uploading the shows to different hosting sites. When I would do this I did a new post entitled Reupload Bonanza. I did this in order to allow everyone to know that I had reuploaded the links. Sometimes the new links would go bad causing me to do yet another repost. There are some shows with at least six different reposts!

I have decided to delete all the reposts. I will be copying any comments made on a repost and pasting them into the original post. I think this will make things easier to manage. Having only one post per show simplifies things a great deal. This will also keep the conversations about a show on one page versus multiple pages where it becomes difficult to keep up with the conversation.

From Private to Public:. As you have all seen when you make a WordPress private anyone who has not been given access receives a generic message when they come to the site. As far as I can tell, you cannot edit or modify that generic message. When I first decided to take the site down I didn’t want everyone to see that generic message. I wanted to let everyone know what was happening. To do this I had to make every individual post on the blog private and then write a new public one letting everyone know the deal.

I decided that this was a good time to do some light editing to the posts. As mentioned I have deleted reposts. I’m also removing all of the “bootleg bonanza” silliness from the titles, cleaning up the image links, etc. As I have thousands of posts this all takes quite a bit of time. I’ve been working diligently on this project these last many weeks but there are many shows to go. I will continue to add in new posts while at the same time trying to edit old posts and make them public again. So, if you are the sort of person who likes to scroll through the pages of my blog you will continue to see old posts reappear.

As I am adding in these old posts I will be adding in new Artist Pages. As you can see this makes the blog look a little goofy right now. Scrolling through the first few pages you will find many an Artist Page and not so many new posts. Eventually I’ll get through all those old posts, but for now you’ll just have to deal with it. On the bright side, you might just find shows you didn’t know I had posted.

Shows of History: Those old posts are daunting. There are so many of them. At first I was randomly choosing old posts to clean up and make public again. Then I decided it would be fun to search for all the shows that I have posted from a given date. On December 3, I would search for all the shows that took place on December 3 and edit them for public consumption. In doing that it seemed fun to collect those shows in one post as a way to highlight them.

One of the good things about reposts was that it gave me a chance to highlight old shows for people who missed them the first time. The new Shows in History posts should do the same thing.

File Factory/Mediafire: I love Amazon Drive. It has worked really well for me and I’ve received very few complaints. The only drawback is that it is a little expensive. You all have kindly given me some money in order to offset that cost, but I hate asking for it. A few weeks ago I realized that I had a pro account with File Factory. They periodically put on a sale and you can get a pro account quite cheaply. I bought one so that I could download shows uploaded by folks over at Guitars101 or other music blogs. With a pro account downloads are super fast. That alone made it well worth the money. A pro account also gives you unlimited storage space. As a test run, I’ve decided to use them for certain shows.

I will continue to use Amazon for my major artists (The Grateful Dead & related, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, etc) and for most of the shows that have already been uploaded to Amazon. But for other artists, ones I don’t post that often I am now using File Factory to host them. It is a trial run and if I get too many complaints about it then I’ll switch back to Amazon for everything. Please do leave me comments about this.

In that same vein, I recently discovered that I still have many active links via Mediafire. Back in the day, I set up half a dozen accounts or so with them (free accounts gave you limited storage options, so when I’d fill one up I’d create a new account). God bless ’em, but they are still chugging along even though I haven’t used Mediafire in years and years. For the time being, I’ll still let them host those shows, though eventually I’ll get around to reuploading them to Amazon/File Factory.

Alright folks, I think I have said enough. I hope you enjoy the new site.

104 thoughts on “Meet The New Blog, Same As The Old Blog

  1. Welcome back! Sounds like you’ve been real busy in the interim, Thanks for all your hard work & the time you put into the midnite cafe

  2. Dang !!! Hi Matt. Thanx for allowing me in to this great new venture, and most of all; Congratulations!

  3. Thank You Mat for the invite…been a casual D/Ler and weekly viewer of your blog for years…been invited to be an editor but dont think i have the extensive knowledge of a said artist and i dont really understand what this “job” really is…Thank You and all Related Blogs

  4. Thank-you very much. I missed this site when it went down. Let us all know how we can donate to keep things running smoothly. I know this is a labour of love and for that we thank you!

  5. hello mat, and welcome back! i got an ”editor” invite, which confused me for a minute, but your subsequent message cleared that up. i was happy to see a batch of new posts, and i was glad to get one file before Amazon Drive stopped working. now when i click an ‘Amazon Drive’ link, i get the big circle that never stops turning around and around. i tried to search the web for solutions, but came up short. any ideas? oh, and happy new year too!!

    • Which show were you trying to get the Amazon link for? Did you try to download any other shows? Best first solution is to always give it a day or two. Usually these things sort themselves out. But tell me which show it was and I’ll see if there is anything going on this end.

      • ok: on 12/29, i downloaded “GDead – 1972.12.11 – FLAC – 107877 – Part 1.zip” but that’s as far as i could go. in the past, the amazon drive page needed to be reloaded before i could d/l another file from it. so i tried to reload it to get part 2. it failed. everything i’ve clicked on since then gets me only the spinning circle. dylan shows, van shows, pretty much anything: nothing works. it’s pretty weird, and i know you have a lot to do so please don’t spend too much time on my problem. it’s not like there’s nothing to listen to around here ….

        • Are you still having the problem? Can you try it on another browser? You might try deleting your cookies or maybe your recent history. I haven’t had any other complaints so I’m guessing it is on your end. Sorry I’m not all that tech savvy to really help. Hope you get it fixed?

    • Happy New Year to all, 2020 the year of great music. Thank you Matt for getting this site back up and running, all your hard work is truly appreciated. As a side note, I have a large amount of live shows from Pink Floyd, Beatles, Stones, Bowie, Zeppelin, Dylan, Neil Young, Genesis and others. If your interested in something in particular, please let me know. I do have to figure out the FLAC thing and uploading, but shouldn’t be a problem.
      PEACE, G-ray

  6. Many thanks. Thanks for letting me be part of your labor of love. Love the Van and the other great artists. If I may be so bold as to request some Steve Forbert. He fits in well with many of the artists that you and I seem to enjoy. Again many thanks.

  7. Thank you for letting me enjoy the new site, i live in Belgium, I am a Bob Dylan fan and have now collected more than 600 albums, mainly thanks to you, thank you thank you.

  8. Thank you Mat for your ongoing fortitude and commitment to the service you provide to all of us. I can’t even tell you how much its expanded my understanding of, and the depth of artistic talent, that the bands I enjoy listening to from the mid-late 60s through the 70s possessed. The live material you (and others) consistently discover, oversee and bring to us is a gift. Its very much appreciated. -P

  9. Reading this blog made me realise exactly how much blood,sweat and tears you put in to making this music available to us.
    Words are hardly adequate but thankyou so very very much for all that you are doing – it’s so good to have you back Matt.

  10. Wow, you’ve been a very busy boy. The new site is great, I love the artist index. Thank you for inviting me in.

    WELCOME BACK (you have been missed).

  11. Thanks for the invite. Good to see you back up and running. Your hard work is appreciated. The private blog route is the best solution.

  12. Happy to see you back. You make a lot of folks happy. I guess that I am the only one disappointed at not having MP3 available. I do understand the higher quality of FLAC, and you are right about converting being a lot of work.

    • I am very sorry about that. I thought long and hard about it and ultimately came up on the side of selfishness. It is so much easier for me to just post FLAC and not worry about MP3. If you need any help converting FLAC to MP3 feel free to ask. I’m not a tech wizard but I’m sure someone around here can help.

  13. Hi Matt
    Great having the midnight cafe back
    Have loved it for years
    can get it all on my phone
    but on my laptop it says the blog is protected and I can’t get in
    please can you help

  14. Thanks for bringing me back into the fold Mat (this is Alan R, now posting as alandeadhead). It is great to have this forum back on line.
    For those who prefer MP3 to FLAC, the best solution I’ve found is the Switch Sound File Converter. It’s free to download and a highly effective conversion tool. You can delete the FLAC file after you’ve converted if storage space is an issue.
    My one question is about the font you are using on this blog. The type face is very light, kind of small and rather hard to read for my aging eyes. Does anyone have suggestions for how to make the type face larger, more legible?

  15. mediafire and Amazon drive work fine for me, both are very fast for free users, I have had paid accounts at filefactory before for pretty much the same reason you stated, Guitars101, Edge posts etc and they really aren’t very expensive for that show I feel I just ‘have’ to have. Just some feedback, I think you’ve made great choices and thanks for all your hard work! 🙂

  16. First time using wordpress It changed my name and I don’t know how to navigate it(Yet) anyway I was analogkid6103 (and will be again eventually) So glad your pages have returned. i was not sure if I was getting in. I put in the request awhile back. But from reading I take it that your learning this new place and dealing with links and art and old posts ect. Its got have you running all directions at once. So its great to have you back and I look forward to seeing the direction it will flow in this brave new domain (new to me) Now to learn this place before it changes my name again.

    • So did you get in ok? Are you able to find what you want?

      Most of the old shows are still private – meaning nobody but me can see them. I’m trying to clean a few up everyday and make them pubic. There are thousands of them so it will take me a long time to get them all back. Fortunately, I’m still adding in new shows most days so there is plenty of stuff to collect.

      I started adding in people a couple of weeks ago. But it was a big list of requests so it took me a bit to get everybody invited. You must have been one of the last to get it. Sorry about that, it wasn’t personal 😉

      Enjoy the music.

  17. No File Factory please. Was always one of the major joys of your site is being able to download multiple files from your site at a time!

  18. Quick question Mat….how are comments added to a post? I downloaded a Neil Young show and searched in a lot of places and have been unable to find a comment link.
    Love what you have down to The Cafe!
    Thanks,
    25thBeatle

    • How did you leave a comment here?

      At the bottom of each post there should be a little box that says “Leave a Reply”. Just type in that and hit “Post Comment”. If you don’t see that then maybe you aren’t logged in? I’m not sure how you could see the site and not be logged in but maybe that’s possible and maybe my blog won’t let you leave a comment unless you are logged in.

      You are able to access the blog via themidnightcafe.org right?

      • Hey Mat
        ….thanks for the quick response!
        I was looking at the individual post, not the artist post….I got it now.
        Appreciate the help!

          • That is correct – unable to comment on an individual post….I tried on my laptop and on my phone. When I click on the Date to open the link it goes directly to your Google Drive….

            • That is weird. Can you walk me through what you are doing? Go to themidnightcafe.org. It should start with this page “Meet the New Blog Same as the Old Blog” and then below that you should get the most recent post (which at the moment is Bob Dylan – Athens, Greece (06/28/89) and below that should be another post, etc. Just like the old blog except I’ve made it so my Meet the… page stays at the top. You should be able to click on any of the show links and be taken to that particular show at which point you should be able to comment.

              When you say Google Drive do you mean Amazon Drive?

              So what does it do when you go to themidnightcafe.org?

              • Mat – When I go to themidnightcafe.org I see exactly what you describe. Instead of scrolling through all of the recent posts down below I tap on the three lines on the upper right by The Midnight Cafe banner and it provides the two options of Home or Shows By Artists. I click on Shows By Artist and then scroll through all of the artists listed. I chose Neil Young and found a show from 1971. When I clicked on the Date the link it took me directly to the Amazon Drive download. The download worked perfectly but there is no other information nor a box to provide a comment….that is where I am confused. As you saw, I was able to comment at the bottom of the Artist page but there is no comment box available when THE DATE link is selected. I hope that I have explained this fairly clearly….

  19. Hi Mat,

    I tested what 25thbeatle’s problem seems to be. I was brought to the typical show page with artwork and notes for all Neil Young 71 shows except the 1/10/71 show which did go right to the download. This may be an isolated problem.

    25thbeatle, you explained the problem clearly. Please try other shows, if the same problem occurs please let us know what type of system you are on, and what browser you are using.

    Bob W.

    • Yes, on that particular show I accidentally linked to the Amazon Download instead of that show’s post. I found one other on the Neil Young page like that. Easy mistake to make as I’m copying and pasting all the time on this blog. Thanks for letting me know about it 25thbeatle and thanks for the help Bob W.

  20. Welcome back, (belatedly). I will be a while getting used to this, but I appreciate the invitation, and hope to chat/post soon!

  21. Great thanks for invitation but I can’t download anything from Amazon Drive. Can’t realize what’s the matter in any way. Has anyone the same problem?

      • I pass by the link from the artist page, then press the download button and that’s all. Nothing happens. I’ve made an account on Amazon Drive. Can it be I should buy a premium for Amazon Drive? If so I’m ready but there’s no information about it and I’d like to be sure that’s the thing that really helps in the case. Thank you for response and sorry for my English.

        • From the artist page you should see a list of all the shows I’ve posted from that artist. Click on the link embedded in the date of each show and that should take you to the shows page where you will see the show date, venue, setlist, source, etc. From there you should see a line that says something like “Download FLAC: Amazon Drive”. Click on the Amazon Drive link which should then take you to the actual Amazoon Drive page where the download is. There you should see a listing of all the sources (might just be one or could be multiple). To the left of each source there should be a little check box. Click on it and up in the top right hand corner you should now see a button that says “download” Click the download button and you should then be able to save the show to your hard drive.

          Are you able to do all of this?

          You do not have to buy a premium account with Amazon or even have an account with them.

  22. The place looks really good. As far as your new organizational scheme, it is way better than anything I could manage and/or stick with, so my hat’s off to you. Just out of curiousity, and if it isn’t out of line, how much cloud storage do you use for this endeavor?

    • Thank you. I am really digging the new look. It isn’t much different than the old look but a little cleaner and more organized.

      I’m currently at 2.6 TBs of storage on my Amazon Cloud. Of course, I’m adding to it every day 😉

  23. Hey, thanks for letting me in. I like a good boot now and then and for awhile I thought you were done for good.

  24. Greetings from Spain.
    I’ve been here for a while, (actually since 2018) but I hadn’t said hello or thanks.
    Your work and dedication are amazing.
    By the way, what software is suitable to transform the names of the songs (“track1” to “real name of song”)
    I’m a little clumsy.
    Thank you again

    • Are you on a Mac or Windows machine? For FLAC files you have to “tag” the files. On a Mac I use either xACT to do that or Clementine (which is also a very good FLAC music player). I believe on Windows you can use Traders Little Helper. I have also heard good things about Foobar and MP3TAG. I believe all of these things are free. So just Google the names and you should be able to find downloads for them. Hope that helps.

  25. Please think about the mp3-topic and be honest… Flac causes much more download time and much more space than mp3 and the sound quality is not so much better… Please think about that one more time. Thanks in advance. P.S. You blog is really fine and contains sensational stuff! Keep on rockin’

    • I did spend a lot of time thinking about it. I agree with you in that my ears really can’t tell much of a difference in sound quality. But lots of people say that they can. The bootleg community especially tapers and audiophiles generally prefer FLAC. I personally always want to keep FLAC for my backups. I am never not going to upload and post FLAC files for those reasons. MP3s are smaller and easier to download store, but when you are posting as many as I do they still take up a lot of space. Space = $$ for this. Since I am definitely posting FLAC files then MP3s are just adding to the cost.

      MP3 fans can easily convert the FLAC files but FLAC fans cannot do the same with MP3s. I do understand that it is an extra hassle for MP3 fans as you have to download larger files and convert them. I am sorry about that. But it makes things a lot cheaper for me and saves me tons of time.

  26. Dear Mat, Delighted to have you back. Thank you for allowing me to join this site with your many admirers. Sincerely, Robin (Moscow)

  27. To Matt, I Join with The Others Welcoming You Back-I Do Have A question-when I Download The Files From FLAC To MP3’s Occasionally I Get A Fluttering (As Though The Tape Is Stuck, Or Missing). Again Thank You Very Much For This Site…Ron Massie

    • I’m not sure what you mean. Is it happening when you convert the FLAC to MP3? Is it just on specific shows? It is possible their is a corruption in the file or it is also possible there was a problem with the original recording. Whenever you find something like that leave a comment on that shows post and I’ll do my best to see if I can figure out the problem.

  28. Returning the favours…..:

    For some years I was a member of Pink Roberts blog (i.e. Robert Nemecek, Belgrade, aka PR). About a year ago he decided not to maintain it actively any longer, but opened up for everyone to grab the thousands of shows he has accumulated over many years since around 1970. So the site works mostly as an archive, although a few new postings appear every now and then. I have NOT asked him if “advertising” the archive is ok, but in a recent mail he says “keep on grabbing anything you may like, that just makes me happy”, so I take this as an ok for me to reveal the archive in this forum, since this is also a closed circuit with membership…

    There is an overview page here:
    http://www.pinkrobert.net (not secure, if that is an issue to your browser).
    On the overview page you’ll find a number of images that links to a list of bootlegs by individual artists, plus a ultrashort quality assessment. For Bob Dylan 2000 – 2003 there are 126 shows, so the complete list for all artists is very very long.
    On the overview page, click the relevant link to go to the blog (PR Forum), then navigate the blog via the breadcrumb line at the top – together with the overview page that should give you an idea of quantity and quality.

    You’ll find a lot of stuff by artists that were young around 1970 (like me :-)) and what they made since then – known as well as unknown artists – personal favourites include several folksy treats like June Tabor, Fairport Convention, Kate & Anna McGarrigle – including the most comprehensive postings on both the McGarrigles and Sandy Denny anywhere outside the record company vaults (and they are mostly empty by now), but you’ll also find a staggering amount of Santana from their jazzy heyday in the mid-seventies, countless Dylan offerings, Jethro Tull, Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, Mountain, Traffic, Waterboys, Warren Zevon, and several versions of Woodstock, you name it….

    All files are posted on Mega. With a twist. Robert started out when connections were a bit slow, so all shows are posted in continuous files of 100 MB each. So a typical show will have 6-9 links you will have to copy paste into your browser to download them. Besides that, all runs quite smoothly – when downloaded, click the first of the zipped files, and the complete show file will open.

    If you can access the files and get something out of it – remember there is good quality stuff and bad quality stuff there, and quite some unique shows – because this has been collected over so many years it is difficult to imagine – do not forget to send a thank you to Robert. His work of love is staggering and deserves as many applauses as possible. You will find his email address on the overview page…..

    I have tested access to the site from Chrome and Edge, and it works fine for me in both browsers.

  29. Mat,

    Greetings! Your blog is so great, I wanted to invite a fellow Dylan enthusiast to it, if that is possible.

    How would I go about inviting him to get a password and such and join?

    Thanks!! NoelM

    • He just needs to sign up for a WordPress account. Once he is logged in he goes to my home page (themidnightcafe.org). It will tell him that it is a private site but there should be a button to press to ask for an invitation. That will send me an e-mail and once I receive it I’ll grant him access. Depending on when he does it I should be able to grant him access within about 24 hours.

      If he has any problems let me know.

  30. Hey Mat great to have you back! Looking forward to all the fun stuff you share, So from Milwaukee we say Have a beer it’s nice in here! Gerry

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