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Background: Twitch had a karaoke service called Twitch Sings which shutdown last December. It was developed by Harmonix, the same studio who created Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which is why information about it is worth preserving. I am trying to find a final song list, but the only page with the complete information is this page, which has been deactivated: https://songlist.sings.twitch.tv/
Archived version: https://web.archive.org/web/20201202061659/https://songlist.sings.twitch.tv/

The problem: When viewing the page through archive.org, it seems that it's meant to draw from a database to populate the page. However, the archived version is displaying improperly. It will access the database and display songs from artists starting with numbers or A, but instead of displaying B next, it loops back and displays A again and again. I have tried opening it in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge with the same results.

Is there a way to bypass the archived page entirely by accessing the database directly? Or can the code be edited by opening the page source so that it displays properly in the browser? Is there some other method that will allow me to retrieve the info? I don't really have much coding experience.

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    Unfortunately, at some point you'd need to find someone who already has it, or a time machine.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jul 26 at 1:06
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    The only way you can fix a website to show you what you want to see is if the data you want is actually hidden somewhere on the website you're seeing. There's a chance that the display is simply broken (which can potentially be fixed, but not necessarily easily and we can't explain how in a generic way). But if it's trying to access a database, then the data is in the database that no longer exists, meaning it's not on the website. Websites don't typically (i.e. basically never) store hidden duplicates of what it's displaying.
    – NotThatGuy
    Jul 27 at 8:16
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    There's a snapshot at archive.today/2019.11.30-080745/https://… from 2019.
    – Mark G
    Jul 28 at 1:18
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    You're in luck--I saved the html file myself just before it got taken down, B-Z included. dropbox.com/s/fw401ur96jpxxuo/…
    – Exal
    Jul 29 at 4:10
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You are almost assuredly correct that a database ran in the backend. Since the site was shutdown, without a doubt, the database and server side code that ran it is completely gone. The page you are seeing is likely the default HTML output of the server side code and database. Archive.org can only copy HTML output of a website. It has no ability to see what is creating that output. In essence, it has a "photograph" of the front page and that is it. In all reality, there is nothing else that you will be able to recover, other than what you see.

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How can I recover data from a website after shutdown?

YOU probably cannot.

As you've found out, the Wayback Machine has limitations on what it is able to cache from the web.

If you didn't cache it yourself while the site was operational then you would have to find another person that has archived what you seek.

Is there a way to bypass the archived page entirely by accessing the database directly?

If the database still exists then you would have to contact the owner to gain access. It is very unlikely that it is freely available for access over the Internet.

Usually companies will archive data of sunsetted products and only resurrect the data if there is a legal requirement to do so or if a new project could benefit from the old data in some way. I doubt Twitch cares about your personal interests but you could try reaching out to them.

If someone has a copy of the database then they very likely obtained it illegally.

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If you are lucky, then Google might still have your website in cache.

  1. Enter site:example.com into Google Search. You get a list of every HTML document indexed by Google.
  2. Click on the small down-pointing triangle next to the URL
  3. Click "In cache"

You will get what Google still got of the HTML document and can download it.

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    Note that seeing a page in a google search result does not necessarily imply that it's cached. If there's no triangle, How to modify a URL to get a Google cached version of page? won't work either. And of course all of these methods will only get HTML data cached by google, not audio/video or whatever. And depending on what kind of site it was, google might not have cached pages with the CGI parameters you were interested in. Jul 28 at 8:37
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If all of the following conditions apply then you might be able to use a legal method to obtain the data as hinted at in MonkeyZeus's answer:

  1. You live in a jurisdiction to which the GDPR applies (e.g. the UK or an EU member state).
  2. The company is based in a jurisdiction to which the GDPR applies or they are outside the jurisdiction but had a contract with you to provide access to its website (e.g. you created an account and agreed to terms and conditions).
  3. The company still has a copy of the data.
  4. The data is your personal data.

If so, you can make a subject access request under articles 15 and 12 of the GDPR. The company would then usually be required to provide the data to you free of charge without undue delay (and within a maximum of 1 month or 3 months in a complex request provided they have notified you of the extra time within 1 month). If they failed to do so you have the right to make a complaint to your country's data protection authority and/or seek an injunction in the court.

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  • The question is not about personal data, so it wouldn’t work.
    – Didier L
    Jul 27 at 22:08
  • @DidierL I'm not familiar with Twitch Sings and OP said he is looking for a song list, so I answered on the basis that that might mean his own personal song list. Even if such a thing doesn't exist on that service, the answer can be useful to other readings in relation to the general question asked in the title, "how can I recover data from a website after shutdown?". Jul 28 at 8:57

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