Muxtape Is Back! Sort Of...

Thanks to the forward-thinking, progressive, really up on things, totally rational, and brilliant minds running the RIAA and managing the recording industry in general [Editor's note: managing it right down the toilet where it belongs], Muxtape as we knew and loved it is never coming back.

However, something much cooler (to musicians, anyway) is coming in its place.  Muxtape for bands.  You can read Justin's really long explanation over at muxtape.com, or I can just tell you that it's basically going to be relaunched as a mini-CMS and music streaming service for bands (presumably unsigned bands) to post their songs, profiles, etc. and share their music with the world.

Kudos, Justin.  You have made lemons out of lemonade, and I applaud your efforts to keep going in the face of industry bullshit and try to make something that will actually help actual musicians.  Keep up the good work.

What do you think?  Has the RIAA gone too far?  Does this sound like a useful tool for bands?


Squeezebox Boom - Somone Please Buy Me This

Those geniuses at Slim Devices have done it again.  They have come out with the Squeezebox Boom, which is like a Squeezebox + a boombox all in one.  And yes, I want one.  Very badly.  And no, I don't really need one.  That's not the point.  [Editor's note: when it comes to consumer electronics, is "need" ever the point?]

All that's missing from this beautiful device, in my opinion, is a color-screen graphical interface so you can see album art.  But then again, I am a fan of devices doing the one or two things they're supposed to do very very well, which is exactly what the Squeezebox Classic does.  And that's basically what the Boom does, as well - it's a Squeezebox with speakers.  Brilliant!  Personally, I would use this on my back porch when I grill or take it into the kitchen when I bake dessert goodies so I never have to be alone with the sound of my own thoughts, which are often disturbing.  [Editor's note: it's usually a voice saying "you haven't posted to your blog in weeks!"]

Anyway, I want this.  If you want to give it to me, you will have my eternal gratitude.  And please use this link.  Thanks!


Too Many Playlists!

With the sort-of demise of Muxtape, there has been no shortage of playlist tools hitting your local internet lately.  I decided I just didn't care enough to try out all of them, but I was curious if any of you have tried any of the following:

  • Tumbletape
    Scans your tumblr blog for uploaded MP3s and makes an instant playlist out of them.

  • 8tracks
    Looks pretty similar to Muxtape, but somehow with a worse name.

  • Playlist.com
    Reminds me of imeem in terms of its whole "social" vibe.

  • Sonific
    Shut down in May 2008 before I got a chance to really play around with it.

  • Favtape
    Makes mixes based on songs you've tagged as a favorite in Pandora or Last.FM, and lets you make mixes based on a search.

  • The Hype Machine
    Not really a "roll-your-own-playlist" tool per se, but rather a really bad-ass music blog aggregrator that lets you stream tunes that are being featured that day on a huge range of music blogs.  Also lets you search by artist, tag favorites, etc.

  • Elbo.ws
    Very similar to Hype Machine, but with a totally different name.

  • Meemix
    Very similar to Pandora, but with a whole Facebook-esque social networking section (similar to imeem in that regard).  More of an internet radio station in some ways than a playlist tool, but you can make playlists on it.
Did I miss any?  Yes, undoubtedly tons.  The real question is: are any of them worth checking out?  You tell me.


Friday Playlist - Music To Bike To

What with the nice weather we've been having lately, I've been out on my bike more often this past week. I love biking and do it all the time, but when the weather turns a bit cooler (like it was last week in DC) and the leaves start to turn (like I hope they will in a few weeks), it's really a treat to be out on one's bike, taking it all in at a relatively high speed.

If I'm in an isolated area (like the beach) or somewhere closed to vehicular traffic (like Beach Drive on weekends) I will occasionally listen to music while I ride (at low volumes, of course). [Editor's note: headphones are completely safe to use while biking, as long as you don't put them on your ears.] And so for today's playlist (a feature I'm trying to implement on Fridays now), I give you: music to bike to.

Many of these songs are high-energy, which is great for going up hills, but the general vibe is more "upbeat and repetitive," which is what I crave when I hit the road. Enjoy!

Sorry, gang, when MySpace bought imeem, they destroyed most of my playlists, including this one.  I'm trying to remember what I put on here originally, and when I do, I'll re-post it.  In the meantime, please enjoy my other playlists!

What do you listen to when you bike/metro/drive/walk/commute?