Wow 10 years! I can't believe it, that means that I'm heavily addicted to download in an obsessive-compulsive behaviour for about 9 years now - I discovered the site somewhere in 2000-2001 when the site was still associated with emulation, the background was orange, there was not even a single album, the remix count was roughly a little more than 400 pieces and my connection to the site was a 56.6k dial-up.
My obsession with video game music started somewhere in 1989 when I was only 4. Just like in Reset Generation - I grew up with computers and video games. A mix I wait to hear to this day (I can't do it myself because I can't play any instrument) is from "Alley Cat". I still hold hopes to hear it here. Back then I loved it but never tried to collect it (although I'm sure that at one point I tried to record it on a tape-cassette and failed in a miserable way).
Next it moved to Street Fighter music among other but SF2 and Golden Axe really stood up for me.
Several years later, I bought Final Fantasy 7 (thinking it was some kind of fighting game) and it changed my world, even my parents simply loved the music! My dad (which passed away last week) said to me many times that he really like Sonic music (from our GameGear) and my mother had a period which she was really into FF music (but that was actually later than this point in time).
And then, shortly after finishing FF8 (both for the PC), it happened, I realized that digital music can be stored and heard so easily that I must have it - all the time. And so after finding that clinging to Final Fantasy Radio (of the famous FFMusicDJ) will not fruit the immediate results that I wanted (since back then I had internet for a few hours a week) I sought out a way to download music for Winamp. With little experiments with Alta Vista and Google I realized that it's hard to find VGM, especially these alluded MP3s because the best I could find was midis. For the old ones who still remember what Napster was, I never used it. Not to mention that at this specific point I'm pretty sure it wasn't existed yet.
Sadden by the poor search results I kept searching in pages with numbers so crazy and word combination strange as well. And then I found a site that said to provide "free game remix music collection". Not knowing what a remix is, I was happy with the other words and started to download music from Final Fantasy games. I was suspicious that these were not the complete OSTs but I thought "meh, this site is still growing, I'll find it here with time".
Next evening I started to hear what I have downloaded. It sure sound like Final Fantasy but was also different. That was no OST! Frustrated, I was about to delete a whole night work of 56.6k dial-up downloaded MP3s. And then I thought to myself "Heh, what the heck, let's hear it one more time before saying goodbye". And then I realized that may it not be the Allusive OST but I HIT THE JACKPOT! IT WAS A GOLDMINE OF VIDEO GAMES MUSIC, ONES THAT I HAVEN'T EVEN HEARD OF! AND BETTER YET SOME PIECES ARE EVEN BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS! THIS IS OUT OF THIS WORLD!
I used download manager to download from this site, I would leave my PC open in weekends (I didn't have much internet access then) and in the course of 4-5 months I managed to download every piece of music from this site.
Since then I check this site at least once a month to check out for new music. Even when I was abroad I always made sure to check that I won't miss even a single track to download when I get back home.
I love every piece of music from this site with the exception of "Zelda music for my groin" which I loath to this day (and I'm not an avid Zelda player and I also never deleted the file). I remember almost every piece of music I downloaded from this site. About half of my favourite tracks of all time are from this site alone (the rest being actual pieces from OSTs of video games and movies and several remixes not from this site).
I think that my greatest joy with this site was when "Voices of the Lifestream" was released. It was a great closure for me, coming to this site and finally downloading FF7 soundtrack from it. It really was a dream come true. But I admit that I was disappointed when the credit music was not remixed as it was since it had original parts in it too. But I simply love this album.
I feel like I grew up with this site. First - It expended my musical taste. Today I hear and like every VGM of remix in every genre, from rock to orchestral, from chip-tune to techno, from nerdcore to acid-8-bit-with-pianos. Actually I love it to such extent that I have no more interest in music that is not related to video games, classical music or general OSTs (mostly anime though).
Second - In 2007 I realized that I love video games so much that it's my destiny to get to work in that industry. I wasn't without the influence of this site upon me giving more attention to video game music and realize that every great game has great music (Cheetah Men and Friday the 13 are the sole exceptions).
Third - While being obsessive with something is generally a bad thing, it can also teach you about your love to something. The music I downloaded from here travelled from my old Pentium 2 to my old Pentium 4 and I'm waiting to move it to my soon-to-buy new PC too. If not for this site, I wouldn't hunt for collectors editions of game for their OSTs (although there are other factors for this one) and I wouldn't cherish video game music (in any form and version) as a treasure.
Forth - I really went a long way with this music in my portable CD-player and later iPod and other devices. From high-school (might even be middle-school) to bumhood to the army to work to university, and hopefully someday I'll find a girlfriend who would become a wife and music from this site will take us from the reception to "Eyes On Me" under the canopy. Heck, I even want Final Fantasy music playing at my funeral! Just need to make sure to die before my brother so he'll be able to carry out my wish
I thank you greatly and deeply, David W. Lloyd, you really changed my life and coming here about 9 years ago is a true mile-stone in my life. Hey, I even registered an account just to write it. I don't know how much all my downloads cost to you (since all the single MP3 downloads I download from the servers but albums I download only via bittorent) but one day I'll pay my debt (need to finish university and find a work). I wish I could now but situation is a little rough for me.
And till that day comes, I'll still play video game (and remix) music at work, at car, at home and anywhere possible even when people say that don't want to hear it (most say it without even listening once due to narrow-mindness) because this site put to its cause to spread VGM and I'm not ashamed to listen to this music and spread it myself.
I also want to thank everyone who post music on this site for making my life more joyous. God knows this was a really bad year for me. And VGM always makes me feel a little better.
Thank you all, happy birthday and good night. Sorry for bad english.
(And I really hope that djpretzel will read my super long post)