A few days ago the muxtape guy broke silence on what's going on with him and the RIAA. Short answer: he gave up. Probably wisely.
As predicted, muxtape as you knew it is gone forever. There are, however, a number of contenders trying really hard to slide into everyone's consciousness as the replacement for muxtape. Favetape, for instance, is one of the most high-profile of the bunch. They've been doing a number of really cool things in the mixtape space, leaving me with little doubt that they're going to be the de-facto place people make their mixtapes.
Until THEY get into things with the RIAA, that is. Sure, their model does not involve hosting any files (which is pretty dang cool, actually), but at the end of the day they're generating referral revenue using content for which they don't have a license. They will get shut down too. Unless they work out some kind of deal with the RIAA -- which means you're probably going to have to pay to use them.
So where does that leave us? The best solution that I see right now is to install Opentape; it's simple, fast, and low-profile enough that your friends can continue to hear your mixes without the threat of some money-grubbers getting shut down. You COULD decide to go with favtape or mixtube or one of the others, but at the end of they day they're trying to make a buck off you -- which is the best way to ensure that they cease to exist. (The RIAA/BMI/ASCAP does not like it when you make money involving music. If your business even has a radio playing within earshot of your customers, you're required to pay them the appropriate license. Same goes for "on-hold" music.)
For the future? Hold on to your butts, for I've got a couple ideas in the works that may make mixtaping even easier with less risk of being shut down. If I have such ideas, you can be sure OTHER people do as well, which will make up for the fact that I'm notorious for getting all excited about a project and then completely abandoning it after very little of the work has been done.
In the meantime, though: seriously check out Opentape.
You know, it was bad enough reading the posthumously published A Salmon of Doubt -- what with its snippets and explanations of changes that Douglas Adams PLANNED to make, ultimately turning the long-desired Dirk Gently story into a sixth Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy installment -- but the idea of letting someone else entirely write a final book? That just seems like trouble to me. At least A Salmon of Doubt was cobbled together from various differing versions found on Mr. Adams's's hard drive -- taking the best bits from each -- and thus maintaining some of Douglas' intentions. Having someone completely create something from scratch just to "put an upbeat end to it" actually kind of offends me.
Look: I feel lousy enough that they actually succeeded in putting out a movie version, thus selling a poor interpretation of the thing we all love and adore to those who never understood it. (I imagine the un-initiated viewing that movie and saying "THAT's what those nerds were reading all the time? Geez. What NERDS.")
Seriously, world, STOP WITH THE DOING WHAT YOU THINK DEAD PEOPLE WOULD HAVE WANTED just so you can make a buck. I sincerely doubt that Douglas would want someone else to determine the fates of his characters.
What's next? Putting a hit out on J.K. so that Beverly Cleary can write the "eighth Potter book?"
This is both a test and a mixtape. A little more of the prior than the latter, but I think the songs are decent.
I've been poking around in Opentape lately, adding things to make it better. I emailed them about incorporating things into actual opentape, but have not heard back from them.
I'm considering forking Opentape since a lot of what I want to add kind of conflicts with their philosophy of simplicity. Forking is generally frowned-upon, so we'll see... I'm kicking around 'SchmopenTape' for the name, though, of my hypothetical fork.
Anyway, here goes:
(or it can be embedded like this:
I've added the ability to put in descriptions of songs, the auto-generation of Amazon links based on the artist/title of the song, as well as Amazon Affiliate ID support. (Meaning that when someone uses that link and buys something, you get some moneys.)
Excerpt from the Smallville Gazette, May 4th, 19[REDACTED]:
Dr. Franklin Sondheim is perplexed at the appearance of radiation burns on the entire Smallville High cheer-leading squad.
"The burns are of the type normally associated with long-term exposure to X-ray radiation. The curious part is that the burns appear almost exclusively within the area covered by undergarments. The breasts and pubic region are the most affected, but some burns appear on the buttocks as well. If I didn't know better, I'd think someone were using some sort of X-ray 'scope' to peek under their clothes."
The only thing these girls have in common is that they stand on the sidelines the entire time the Smallville High football team practices and plays games.
Initially thought to be an allergic reaction to their new uniforms, the girls' condition has been rapidly worsening since the beginning of the play-offs. Several of the girls visited Dr. Sondheim, who diagnosed the condition as radiation poisoning.
A few days ago, I got my hands on a pre-release copy of Metallica's latest album, "Death Magnetic."
Now, I was once a pretty hardcore Metallica fan; in my youth preferring the "Master of Puppets"-era sound, my taste eventually maturing to find the "Load" sound to be preferable. After that live album they recorded with the SF symphony and Michael Kamen, as well as the all-covers album, I was really excited to hear a new studio album, because the songwriting on the new songs from the symphony show was really fantastic -- and the band had never sounded better on the covers album.
Sadly they kind of lost me with the eventual release of "St. Anger." After a considerable amount of time, I did come to find a couple of the songs on that album tolerable, but my overall disappointment in them not sounding like I expected was kind of a downer.
It was with that disappointment in mind that I hesitantly decided to give "Death Magnetic" listen. I'm really glad I did, because over the last couple days I've found the album to be really fantastic. Nobody is more surprised than me at that fact. Many of the songs have really catchy grooves and riffs, really earworming themselves into my head.
I've picked my three favorite of the songs from the album and popped them into my Opentape installation (which I've been adding features to) for your listening pleasure. It's with hope that other disheartened fans -- and perhaps some newcomers as well -- might give the album the fair chance it really deserves.
Oh, and please don't go linking to this. I just want to share some great music with my friends and promote the album -- not get sued by Metallica :) If you like what you hear, the album comes out on Sept. 12th.