The end is nigh
I've had the steamsounds web site on the net in pretty much its current form now since 2001. Before that I had various versions of it starting as far back as 1996 and, after over 20 years, I think I've done my bit.
steamsounds won't be disappearing overnight as I intend to leave it as a static site and will be paying for at least another year's hosting; I have sufficient funds in the kitty to pay for that.
There are a number of reasons why I've decided to call it a day. One of them is quite simply that I'm not as young as I used to be. One of these days I'll have no choice about keeping the web site running and I thought it would be better to leave things tidy rather than just vanish. Another reason not entirely unconnected is that I'm not getting out for recordings as often as I did in the past; no doubt you've noticed that the site hasn't been updated all that often. With fewer updates I've noticed a reduction in interest; fewer visitors and very little feedback which makes having the web site much less rewarding.
However, I decided that I couldn't let the site go without marking the end in some way and, as 2017 will see me having been making railway sound recordings for 40 years, I've added a selection of recordings starting back in 1978 and when I add one from 2017, there be 40 recordings, one from each year.
Picking those recordings hasn't been an easy task but I think it was worth the effort and I think it makes a fitting finale to the steamsounds web site.
So, that's about it. While there won't be any further updates and even though the site will be static, it won't be vanishing for at least another year or so.
While keeping a web site updated has seemed like hard work at times, it has also been a rewarding experience. I've made quite a few friends through having the site and, if I had my time over, I'd do it all again without a doubt!
What about the CDs?
Since the site, albeit static, is going to be around for a while yet you may be wondering why I've stopped selling CDs. The simple answer is that, as I've paid for hosting for the final time, I don't really have any excuse to continue selling them.
I began selling CDs back in 2002 and the money they brought in helped considerably with paying for web site hosting; they were never intended to make me rich and I have to say, there was never any danger of that happening.
I suppose I could have continued but it just wouldn't have felt right as steamsounds was never intended to be a commercial venture.
In a way it would be nice if disks could stay on sale somewhere for years to come and I'd be more than happy if a loco owning group or preserved line wanted to produce them but that's something that is out of my hands. If anyone does fancy the idea; it would make a relatively easy 'home work', project, please get in touch.
Latest February 2018
Although the CDs are gone, they're not forgotten.
As a way of keeping some steamsounds content on the web I've been converting the recordings from the CDs into videos and uploading them to YouTube so while you can't buy them anymore, the recordings are still there to be enjoyed.