For music lovers, the mixtape is among the most profound of human expressions and experiences. Although the days of the ‘tape’ have long passed, there continues to be a great interest in capturing that experience with todays digital devices and on the internet.
The ways for doing so have varied as I have previously posted, but new services continue to launch that attempt to take advantage of the mixtape as a metaphor for listening to and sharing music. Each of them seem to pick up on different affordances the cassette offered which makes you wonder, what exactly was the special part of making and sharing mixes?
Ultimately the distribution of music was one of the most important reasons tapes were made in the first place, so services like The Mixtape Collective or Tiny Mixtapes didn’t pick up large audiences since they emphasized the playlist only. Alternately, JWZ mixtapes is in the music distribution game, offering one new mix a week available to be streamed directly from the site. JWZ keeps its mixes limited to 90 minutes, the length of time of old school tapes, and puts together some GREAT mixes.
One of the most exciting services to hit the net recently is the MIXX from donat group. This application was designed specifically for the facebook platform and provides a built in player to listen to the various ‘mixxes’ directly from your profile page. MIXX has a couple of things going for it that I think is going to make it a popular app. First, the inspiration for the mixx is derived from the title itself. With the prompt, “I want music that…” the user completes the sentence, and can begin uploading files directly from their harddrive to be shared with potential listeners. Like Tiny Mixtapes, this directs the creation of a mix around a theme or story, and is one of the best ways to inspire contributions. The second, and arguably most important feature of this app is that you can send your mix to a select group of friends for their listening pleasure AND for them to add their own songs to. Holy collaborative mixtaping batman, saweet!
Lastly, I recently signed up for an invitations to join Mixaloo.
Mixaloo brings the art of the mix-tape into the digital age. Freely explore our library of over three million songs and arrange unique music mixes that express your complex self. At no cost to you, mixes can be easily embedded on your personal pages (such as Facebook, MySpace and Blogger) to sell and earn cash, along with points toward ubercool Mixaloo merchandise.
So now I can compile mixes, share them with ‘friends’ AND potentially get paid for the effort?! (assuming I can come up with some popular mixes i suppose) Its almost like… a part-time DJ gig! Something tells me that online music is about to mature another notch or two, this is so going to kickass.