I'm finishing my coffee...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Muxtape: A Fantastic & Simple Music Discovery Tool

I like a little background noise while working on my computer. When I am at work, I will put iTunes in random play mode, throw on my headphones to tune everything out and play some music.

I have about 15 Gigs worth of music in my iTunes library (about 8 days worth, according to iTunes). That's more music than I can really choose from and embarrassingly, if I don't put iTunes into random mode I get into ruts, listening to one of just a few albums over and over again.

Even in random mode, I skip a lot of songs because I am either not in the mood or am tired of the song (how can I be tired of songs that I haven't listened to in months?). I seem to have developed a case of iTunes fatigue.

Today I stumbled across Muxtape.com. Muxtape is a service that allows users to upload a muxtape (playlist) of up to 12 songs for the world to check out. It is extremely simple and though it appears to lack the social bells and whistles that many "web 2.0" sites are flaunting these days, the playback interface is clean and sophisticated. Users can use the arrow keys to skip forward and back, and the spacebar will pause the current song.

Muxtape was launched on March 25th, 2008 (according to their tumbler blog), and it definitely has that new site smell. There are just a few features that would add great value to the service that I would like to request:
  • Embeddable muxes
  • Add genre tag for songs, make searchable
  • Listener tags for muxtapes, make searchable
  • Listener ratings for muxtapes (this could be a display of how many times a muxtapes have been favorited by users)
  • Nested Muxes: Instead of looping back to beginning of the mux after the last song ends, loop to another mux (perhaps playing through a users favorites...)
  • Exposed stats for number of listens a muxtape has
  • Add album art for songs and links to where you can purchase a song (Since the RIAA just don't get it, muxtapes is probably going to have to appease them at some point... [Muxtapes terms explicitly state that users must have permission to use the songs they upload, but I can't see the RIAA letting go unless mux proactively works to prevent this from occurring or does something that will be of fiscal benefit to the music industry... though they arguably are doing that already!!!])
Currently, you can subscribe to the RSS of individual muxtapes. Presuming users will change their muxes over time and that you like their tastes, this will be a handy feature. Other than the few new feature requests I have, I think that they've hit the nail on the head with this service.

Nice work, Mux! I'll be listening, and cheering for your success!!!

P.S. Can anyone tell me if muxes will play on the iPhone/iPod Touch? That kind of device combined with geographical awareness (รก la iTunes store @ Starbucks) could present some pretty awesome opportunities for audio guided museum tours, driving tours, you name it... (ever used one of those crappy green handsets they give out at places like Alcatrez and the Coliseo Roma [image from Ed_Aisela]).

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hawaiianpunch said...

hey. Great article on muxtape. I'm an avid user and I change my mux every week or so.

I really like your suggestions. The linking to paysites to buy the music was already present when I started using it, so I don't know if you noticed that or not. What I noticed was a glaring omission was the ability to add a cover to the muxtape like you would make homemade mixtapes. Just a cover for the whole muxtape would be sweet.

Also, to answer your question:


Danika said...

People should read this.