On May 25, 2016 a great tragedy occurred. One so monumental that it shook the foundation of some peoples worlds to the point that they will tell their children and their grandchildren where they were and what they were doing at the exact moment they found out. Yes, the Hello!Online tracker has gone dark.
Okay, that may have been a little too dramatic of an introduction but to many the Hello!Online tracker was the starting point for their journey into idols be it Hello! Project, the many flavors of 48 and/or everything in between. The loss of this resource is already having a profound effect on its regular user base leaving them scrambling to find other outlets to feed their hunger for content.
I’m sure many can attest to this when I say it’s actually very difficult to find J-Pop downloads online in a safe, encapsulated environment. Some have found refuge in other well-known trackers and direct download sites or forums. While others are running around like chickens with their heads cut off acting as if this is the end of their world. If you are resourceful enough you should be able to find what you are looking for and the sudden loss of the Hello!Online tracker should only be a minor inconvenience in your daily J-Pop fan life.
We are not going to provide you with a list of places where you can seek comfort for your loss of free downloads so please don’t ask. I would like to state that we at Selective Hearing don’t necessarily condone illegally downloading music. You really should pay for what you are consuming. We also understand sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get your fix without breaking the bank and becoming destitute because of your hobby.
The thin line of doing what is morally and ethically right versus what is necessary to keep up is one that many attempt to walk and or cross depending on the situation. I’ll finish this thought by saying that you should probably click on the purchase links provided in the reviews on this site. You know, help yourself and us out. Or figure out how to get a Japanese Apple Music account or some other Japanese streaming service account if you feel you want to atone for your sins and not burn in eternal damnation. Again, just pointing that out, it’s not an absolute requirement. I’ll stop there since the particular subject of legal and illegal deserves a different discussion for a different time.
Anyway, for me the Hello! Online tracker was part of my introduction to the world of Hello! Project and later was an integral part of my transition over to the world of AKB and its associated groups as I got more involved in that side of the idol fandom. Obviously idols are not a cheap hobby to get into so you have to cut corners a bit when you start out right? Like I said, walking that thin line. While recently I have not used it as frequently as I did in the past (I am trying the whole purchase your music thing as much as it hurts my wallet), I too am saddened by its sudden shut down and would like to thank those who kept it running for so long.
I feel that there is only one way to end this short commentary on the end of an era, and that is with the following phrase: