July 25, 2008
Muxtape Lets You Show Off Your Exquisite Taste
By CHAD BERNDTSON
ON THE CHEAPSo you're a music junkie, and you're always looking for new and exciting ways to impose your peerless tastes ... er, help your less- savvy pals learn about the 900 obscure bands they should hear.
Burning CDs these days is what recording mix tapes was six years ago - decidedly old-school. Which is cool, of course, but maybe you don't have time to sit in front of a computer with a stack of Office Depot burners and ignore the other demands of your too-regimented life. And you can't very well borrow everyone's iPod to pre-load - that's even more time-consuming than burning discs, right?
Enter Muxtape, one of the better pieces of free Internet programming in quite some time. While it hasn't reached Facebook- type meme levels, exactly, it's garnered quite a following since its launch in March. It's also the best of the many programs that offer online music playlist services, a long list whose top choices also include Imeem, finetune and Project Playlist.
The mission is simple: it allows you to upload mp3 files from your personal music library into a program and create a virtual mix tape of songs that you can send to whoever you want or link to. Your songs can be streamed and listened to by others, though not downloaded - which is presumably how Muxtape has skirted legal issues. Created by a college radio DJ named Justin Ouellette, it's supported by links to Amazon.com through which listeners can purchase the songs.
Apart from the inherent music geekery involved here, a site like Muxtape is so much fun and exciting because it's both addictive and experimental. Record company executives stingy with music licensing are probably circling, trying to figure out how it breaks laws but also hoping they can capture a piece of one of Muxtape's major implications: that the recommendation of music among peers, sent through a social network format, is a more powerful endorsement than any boardroom-hatched marketing.
While you're worrying about which Pearl Jam B-sides to combine with which local hardcore and/or alt-country bands on your own Muxtape, consider what a brave new world it all is - deep within the unchecked craziness of those darn Inter-webs.
Originally published by By CHAD BERNDTSON, For The Patriot Ledger.
(c) 2008 Patriot Ledger, The; Quincy, Mass.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.