Muxtape... Mixtape... How Do You Make Web-Based Music Playlists?

Muxtape is long and gone--or at least, dead is the original idea of Muxtape, a place where music hipsters could upload their favorite songs to create streaming playlists for their friends. These online mix tapes paved the way for a fun new platform where bands of all genres and styles can offer up their music for listening and, eventually, sell tickets and merchandising through a minimalist, easy-to-access Web interface.

That's all well and good. Nevertheless, I kind of liked the ability to fire up random playlists on the fly. My own anemic database of hip music knowledge grew from the plethora of new samplings that my must-have-been-crazy friends were listing. It was hard to find a more eclectic combination of awesome then watching a playlist flip over from seizure-inducing, acid house techno to the best treats from Mariah Carey's "Daydream" album.

Now they, and you, will have a chance to torment the world once again with some amateur DJ skills. That's because a new Web site dubbed Mixtape is attempting to fill the void left by the loss of Muxtape 1.0. Here's hoping it's thought of a way to counteract the speedy legal arguments put forth by the RIAA as well, because Mixtape's features are sure to run it afoul of the recording industry just as quickly as its predecessor.

Set up an account on the site and you can get started creating your own personal online music library within seconds. There are two ways to interact with the service. If you want to use your own content to populate your online playlist, you have to upload it somewhere on the Web and toss a link over to Mixtape. The site finds the file, adds it to your playlist, and you're ready to jam.

Otherwise, you'll be making use of Mixtape's community features. Search for a song you want to listen to, and if someone's already linked a version, you can drag and drop their find right into your playlist. Poof. It's that easy.

That's just about all the site offers functionality-wise. Sure, you can add friends and such if you like their jams. But really, Mixtape is about the music. The not-quite-so-legal-to-distribute music that's worth looking into for the few weeks or months this site manages to stay alive. Although, to its credit, Mixtape does offer links to buying the music you find right next to the button that pulls up the song's information. It's that kind of conciliatory gesture... that will ultimately mean nothing in the end. Can't blame Mixtape for trying, eh?

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