Monday, August 4, 2008

The Lost Art of the Mixtape: Maybe not so Lost After All?

Something sacred was lost when the art of the mix traveled from tape to cd. Maybe it was the knowledge that someone spent 90 minutes or so sitting on the floor in front of their stereo, thinking of you instead of dragging and dropping some files in iTunes in 15 minutes. Maybe it's just the warm glow of analog. Either way, it just ain't the same. I still proffer (and prefer!) to make people mixtapes but now most people shrug and say they don't have a cassette player. So back to the laptop I go.

But maybe there's hope for the mixtape yet, if not as a popular music medium, than at least as a cult icon of bygone days. Besides the recent books Love is a Mixtape and Thurston Moore's Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture some mixtape loving websites are starting to crop up.

First up is Cassette From My Ex, created by Found Magazine's Jason Bitner. It is filled with stories about (and track listings of) mixtapes people received from someone who loved them but doesn't now. The contributors are exciting (Claudia Gonson anyone?) and best of all you can listen to the mixtapes on the site.

Muxtape tries to bring the fun of the cassette to digital mixes. I don't know how successful it is on that front but it is a great site. Anyone can create a free account and then upload 12 songs to make your mix with. You can drag and drop the names of songs on your list around to change the order and then anyone, anywhere can listen to the mix on the Muxtape site.

Mixwit offers much the same service as Muxtape but with a different interface and a couple more goodies. Mixwit let's you add skins to your mixtape including using an image of your own. But where as Muxtape let's you upload songs from your own library, Mixwit requires you to select songs from a url, so yo uhave to host your songs online somewhere or use SeeqPod or SkreemR . Mixwit let's you share your mix on sites like Blogger and Facebook but doesn't give you a simple url to link to like Muxtape does.

So there you have it. The mixtape lives on, if only in our hearts. So go forth and mixaply!

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