OMG Muxtape!

Less than three weeks after its launch, blogophiliacs and Internet twitchers already know the doublethink about Muxtape.com: Muxtape is cool/Muxtape is doomed.

What is it? Oh come on. I’ll wait while you Google a bit. (A beat.) OK, let’s continue:

Muxtape is cool because it is simple to the point of primitivism, which makes it instantly useable to anyone who can master the general-purpose computing task of employing a file browser window to hunt around for MP3s on a hard drive for uploading. That hurdle hurdled, your instantly-available mix of tunes streams from any web browser as you build it, rearrange it, and tweak it. You can email the URL around to your pals or even (uh oh, feature creep!) let folks subscribe to an RSS feed for updates.

Muxtape is doomed because, consensus (and recent history) point to the impending, de rigueur paranoid crackdown by everyone’s favorite narrow-minded content gatekeepers, the RIAA. This is the same bunch of overpaid suits who didn’t want you making real mixtapes in the first place.

Muxtape is a canary in a coal mine. I fervently hope this commendable web experiment has a carefully-thought-out counteroffer for the record industry hoodlums who are even now scrambling up to the boardroom for a closed-door session prior to issuing their first cease-and-desist salvo. If not, well, I hope Muxtape is a target that can move a lot faster than, say, Demonoid or OiNK.

Speaking of which, the sad case of OiNK—probably the greatest single catalog of recorded music that ever existed in the history of mankind—underscores the crucial problem with media content owners: They can’t figure out how to do cool projects like Muxtape or OiNK, which invite music lovers to spread information like pollen to the wind, so they methodically shut them down. Net result: the world is deprived of innovation, information and coolness. As OiNK user Trent Reznor said: “[I]t existed because it filled a void of what people want.”

Maybe Muxtape can buck the trend. After all, it’s week 3 and it’s still there. My advice: Fill that void. Make a muxtape today.