Inside an african MP3-Market

Chris Kirkley hat einen kurzen, großartigen Blogpost über Filesharing auf einem MP3-Markt in Mauretanien, einem Wüstenstaat im Nordwesten Afrikas. Der Markt bildet den “Kern” eines Schwarzmarktes, auf dem Handys und SIM-Karten und MP3-Player gehandelt werden. So ungefähr stelle ich mir übrigens Filesharing der Zukunft auch bei uns vor, nachdem das Online-Sharing aus dem Mainstream verdrängt wurde.

The market itself is a labyrinthine of stalls, glass display cases filled with “fake” Nokia/Samsung cellphones, sporting two or three SIM cards, cameras, mp3 players, and speakers. Deeper into the market, past the fancier shops, the stalls are simpler. In concrete boxes plastered with glossy hip hop posters and homemade montages, young men lounge behind computers, blasting music from pairs of speakers directed outwards, in an arms race of sonic amplitude. This is Nouakchott’s mp3 market.

This is no amateur operation. Every computer trails a variety inputs: USB multipliers, memory card receivers, and microSD adapters. A virus scan is initiated on each new connection. Each PC is running some version of a copy utility to facilitate the process. The price is a standard 40 ougiya per song, about $0.14; like every market, discounts are available for bulk purchases. The music on the computers is dictated by the owners. Hassaniya music is most often carried by young Maurs, Senegalese Mbalax and folk by Pulaar and Wolof kids. While I’m searching for Hausa film music, I’m directed to the sole Hausa man in the market, a vendor from Niamey. I sit with the vendors, scrolling through the songs on VLC, selecting with a nod or a pass, the files copied to a folder, tallied, and transferred to my USB.

down and out in the mp3 market, das Posting wurde mittlerweile von 3Bute als Webcomic umgesetzt, allerdings können die Zeichnungen dort nur wenig, leider. (via Afro Cyberpunk)