The (Predictable, Yet) Sad Tale of Muxtape

Is it me, or is there a tear in the eye of this cassette tape?
Is it me, or is there a tear in the eye of this cassette tape?

We were big fans of Muxtape while it lasted. I personally blogged about it here and here and spent some quality time cruising through the thousands of mixes, getting turned on to music previously unknown to me and then (pay attention, hopelessly-out-of-touch RIAA overlords!) spending cash fucking money on releases by these artists. Well, as predicted, the dream is dead.

Muxtape founder Justin Ouellette’s post-mortem is now on the front page of his site and tells an interesting story of lawyers, labels, intimidation and greed--with some amusing particulars (like “sitting down at a conference table [at EMI] with a phonebook-thick file labeled ‘Muxtape’ laying on it”). For the big music labels, a service that promotes and advertises their product for free just isn’t good enough. They want to control it. So they shut it down and nobody wins. (Earwig, the Alibi’s own mixtape-sharing tool, once had a hook for submitting Muxtape playlists. Not anymore.)