May. 24th, 2008

Muxtape

May. 24th, 2008 12:31 am
skyfaller: (Default)
Muxtape finally came back online so that I could try it out. Here is my muxtape! It's filled with songs that I have found myself singing in the shower recently.

PROS:
* Muxtape allows you to upload whatever songs you want, which in comparison to Mixwit makes it better for handling obscure songs. Also, this allows you to better control the sound quality than Mixwit, since Mixwit leaves you reliant on whatever song files are floating around the Web.
* Muxtape doesn't use Flash or some other silly proprietary technology, yay! It uses javascript to make your browser temporarily download and play each song in the mix automatically.
* Yes, you read that right, Muxtape is already downloading the songs to your computer, just not in a permanent location. That means if you want to save the song permanently, you just need to find each song's temporary location, rename it to an .mp3, and stick it in your music library. In Firefox, I did this by:
1) viewing the source of the page
2) finding the funky number that identifies each song
3) going to about:cache and searching for the funky number
4) saving that file to my desktop
5) renaming it to .mp3 and sticking it in iTunes
You could also use a Greasemonkey script like this one if you want to make it easy on yourself, I'm told. I don't use Greasemonkey, so I couldn't say.

Muxtape is simple to use, if you have the songs that you want to use on your computer. And honestly, how can you make a good mixtape out of songs that you don't possess?

CONS:
* Muxtape only allows you to have one mixtape per account. LAME. I have lots of mixtapes I'd like to share, what am I supposed to do with the other ones? Make 50 accounts? What a pain in the ass. (Use another service / method for the others, I guess.)
* Muxtape limits you to 12 songs per mixtape. Most of my old mixes were developed for mix CDs, which can comfortably fit 18-20 songs, if they're mostly short pop songs. In fact, my shortest old (completed) mix was 13 songs in length. This is a new mix I made specifically for Muxtape to fit in the 12-song limit.
* If you don't have the song you want to use already, you'll have to go download it. Fortunately, between stores like the Amazon mp3 store or emusic.com, p2p networks, and music search engines you should have a pretty easy time finding whatever song you want in mp3 format.
* If you want people to be able to download your playlist and take it with them on their iPod, there is no easy way to do that, not even if the listener pays money and buys all the songs. Seriously, Muxtape has "buy" links next to each song (which go to Amazon), how hard would it be to have a "buy them all" link that saves itself as a playlist in your iTunes library? Hard, I guess, because there is no such feature for sharing playlists in iTunes, but why isn't there?

RESULT: Muxtape is an excellent solution for exactly one mix of 12 songs or less. That's not a solution for the general problem of sharing mixes.

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