We began making digital recordings of early American Roots Music around 1998 when CD Burners became "affordable". At that time affordable meant the burner cost $500, blank CDs cost almost $2 each and you needed to use a $1500 Windows 95 and then Windows 98 PC. The failure rate when burning CDs at 1X (real time) was about one in three and you were limited to 74 minutes of music.
My former boss, mentor and lifelong friend Jerry Olson was already making audio CDs on his PC from his extensive LP collection. Jerry explained to me what hardware and software he used, I tried it and it worked like a champ.
I had been trading Roots Music with the late Robert Nobley of Roanoke Alabama since 1973. I started collecting Roots Music in 1964 and Robert started about 1954. In 1998 Robert sent me a tape of some new 78s, I burned an Audio CD and sent him a copy. When he played the CD he was in total shock not believing I could create such a CD on my PC.
We began making Audio CDs of roots music, not duplicating content on such labels as County, Yazoo, Document and other independent labels. Most of the Blues/Jazz albums (our 14000 series) came from my collection. The first 100 or so Old Time Music albums (our 15000 series) came from Robert. He would send me a master tape, I would create a CD Master copy and send him some CDs.
A guy at work had a small website and showed me the basics of HTML code. Larry was paying Yahoo way too much money to host a site so I researched and discovered I could do it all myself.
In early 2002 I built a Linux Server using an old 386 PC and configured to be an Apache Web Server. I was able to use a free DNS Service, Verizon DSL and began hosting the original Norms78s Website from my home. Norms78s was used to trade/sell Public Domain CDs and I corresponded with people across the globe. MP3s were still in the future so distributing audio CDs (.wav files) became problematic. This was because we had well over one hundred and fifty albums in our catalog and would need to burn each CD after we received a request. In early 2004 Verizon blocked the ports that web servers use so we chose to shut down Norms78s rather than pay them an unreasonable amount of money.
To be continued.