Tapegerm was first started by Bryan Baker at homemademusic.com in 1999, creating pages for a few cassette albums by some of his favorite artists in the hometaper network. On these pages he made available for download loops extracted from the tapes for other artists to download and create new music and then send them in so new "interpretations" could be made available to hear.
Soon a small number of artists were participating and they began discussing the creation of a collaboration network where they would all upload loops for the others to create new music. Bryan had been playing around with the pages at tapegerm.com and offered the domain up for this new concept evolving through these discussions. The new website was launched in May 2000.
Besides Bryan Baker of homemademusic.com and GAJOOB Magazine, there were Chris Phinney of Harsh Reality Music and Scott Carr of Tape Hiss Recordings who helped put together and manage the initial online project. Others shaping the early direction of Tapegerm included J Mundock, Bev Staton (Arthur Loves Plastic) and Dave Fuglewicz.