Muxtape reemerges as cleaner, simpler MySpace clone


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Months ago, the Recording Industry Assn. of America went on a rampage, shutting down websites that encouraged users to upload songs -- many without the required permission from record labels -- and create Web-based playlists. Now the top name in the mix-tape game is returning for a second try.

And it just doesn’t feel the same.

The old Muxtape allowed you to embed any MP3 onto a clean, simplistic Web page and dole out the link to friends. With the new Muxtape, users can build playlists from a currently tiny library of songs, authorized by the musicians to appear on the website.


Muxtape is shifting its focus to band promotion, as the company writes on its information page. For the preview version, Muxtape has 12 bands, which each feature a handful of songs from their catalogs.

‘We couldn’t find a way to make a licensing deal work with the major record labels and were shut down. Instead, we’re recreating the site as a platform for bands to promote and market themselves,’ the page reads.

Sadly, it’s a lot like the second coming of Napster. The once ubiquitous music sharing software reemerged after a lengthy court battle as a paid music subscription service and is now owned by Best Buy.

Music blogger Tom Williams asks on Twitter, ‘So explain to me how the new Muxtape is not just MySpace with a more minimalistic design and less emphasis on ‘friends’?’

There is no obvious explanation. On its FAQ item, which is called ‘What makes Muxtape different?,’ the company says, ‘Muxtape strives for simplicity and believes that music needs a clean, unobtrusive context.’

No word from the other mix-tape website casualties such as Mixwit. But because of the RIAA’s watchful eye, the Internet mix-tape might be as dead as the cassette.


-- Mark Milian