Muxtape: Bringing Back The Art of The Mixtape
So I’ve just recently discovered Muxtape. It’s a site that allows you to make a little “mixtape” of songs by uploading and then choosing which order they go in. The interface is pretty easy to figure out. You click on a song (or just the area around the song) and it’ll play automatically. It was working pretty well last night but for some reason the thing is choking in Firefox for me right now (and making Safari crash AND making IE run out of memory), yay for compatibility testing!
Anyway, the site is neat because if you’re as old as I am, you might remember making mix tapes for your friends. There was an art to this. Instead of the crazy-huge capacities of an MP3 player that you have these days, tapes were limited to like, 90 minutes or something. And the order mattered too since tapes didn’t have skip functionality (unless you had a sweet-ass walkman with that feature built-in). Muxtape sort of forces a restriction on you by forcing you to choose only 12 songs, and by different artists (no dupes). Mix tapes were a labor of love and works of art! Muxtape is easier, but it also sorta reminds me of when I made mix tapes way back when.
So a few criticisms. First off, while Muxtape tries to keep it real by limiting you to the number of songs and artists, it’s still probably way illegal. I wonder why the site hasn’t been shut down yet. Not saying I’d like the site to be shut down, but the reality is that it’s totally un-legit. You might say it’s fine because it only lets you stream, but using Firebug, you can pretty easily tell what the address is for the MP3.
Also, lol at the constructed urls of the MP3s (the first get arg is “PLEASE=DO_NOT_STEAL_MUSIC”).
Last.fm also pretty much is THE place to go for finding new music, and they have tons of searchable (which you could argue is kind of important!) tracks available. Though I did try and recreate my mixtape on last.fm and two artists were missing (one is the IBM computer “singing” Daisy Bell) and of the 10 remaining songs, only 6 had the full tracks playable
So at least Muxtape wins as far as playability goes (though I did have to upload them myself)! There are probably some big legal issues that make it impossible for last.fm to do what Muxtape does. That’s probably good, since last.fm makes money for themselves and more importantly, artists, while Muxtape just makes money for themeselves (if you don’t count Amazon MP3 cuts going to artists). Last.fm makes artists money simply by streaming their music; no buying required.
Anyway, if you want to check out my own mix, go here. Hopefully it’s varied enough to be worthy of mixtape status. You must understand, I’m a bit rusty.