The new web service MixTape.me fills a gap left by MuxTape. You can't upload your own tracks, but you can pull MP3s from all over the web, build a playlist and share it with your friends.
We still miss MuxTape.
The popular MP3-streaming service was shut down by the RIAA last year, and while there have been quite a few similar projects since MuxTape went off the air — OpenTape, the revamped FavTape as well as an RIAA-sanctioned version of MuxTape — nothing we've seen has been quite as nice as the original. Until yesterday, when we discovered MixTape.me.
MixTape.me has almost everything you loved about MuxTape. The core functionality is the same — a slick, simple-to-use interface that makes building and sharing custom playlists of your favorite music dead easy. MixTape.me also adds some cool extras by mashing up all sorts of musical info from across the web.
Getting started building a customized, shareable playlist with MixTape.me is simple. Just search for your favorite artists and available songs show up in the results. Drag the songs you want into the playlist creator and then grab the embed code to post that playlist anywhere you like. The interface looks just like most popular desktop jukebox apps, so if you're familiar with iTunes, Songbird or Windows Media Player, you'll be able to jump right in.
You can't upload tracks from your computer and share them — that's the biggest difference between MixTape.me and MuxTape — but we had no trouble finding all but the most obscure artists in the site's search tool.
The service pulls files from around the web. Quite a few come from SeeqPod (which has been a record label target, but so far remains functional). The rest come from other public sources like blogs, labels and artist pages.
Also, as we mentioned, MixTape.me doesn't just grab the songs. It also pulls in tons of outside data so you can discover all sorts of new information while you’re crafting the perfect mix — artist bios are pulled from last.fm, there are music videos from YouTube and song lyrics from LyricWiki.
If creating and sharing mixes isn’t for you, MixTape.me is still useful for exploring and finding new music. There are dozens of popular playlists created by other users listed on the homepage which you can listen to or embed anywhere you like. Because each playlist has its own URL, there’s no need to join the site just to listen — all you need is a URL. That makes MixTape.me mixes perfect for sharing via Twitter and other microblogging platforms.
If you do end up signing up for the site, MixTape.me offers some minimal social networking tools of its own. The most useful tool gives you the ability to follow users whose mixes you enjoy. Follow somebody and you’ll be notified whenever they post a new mix.
Now, we know what you’re thinking — sounds great, but what about the RIAA? Well, like FavTape, MixTape.me skirts the major flaw that brought down MuxTape — MixTape.me does not host any of the .mp3 files. They are pulled in from external, and largely legal, sources. That’s no guarantee MixTape.me won’t suffer a fate similar to MuxTape. However, at least for the foreseeable future, it's a great way to mix, share and discover some new music.
Incidentally, Lifehacker editor Adam Pash is the one behind MixTape.me. An impressive service to pull off in your spare time, Adam!