All posts tagged ‘Music’

File Under: Software & Tools

Tumbltape: Turn Your Tumblr Blog into a Muxtape Clone

TumbltapeIf you needed any proof that Muxtape was wildly popular, consider the number of copycats and streaming music alternatives that have popped up since the site went offline. We’ve already looked at 8Tracks, which offers similar features, and OpenTape which allows you to host a Muxtape clone on your own server.

If neither of those options quite float your boat, check out Tumbltape. As the name suggests Tumbltape uses the dead-simple blogging tool Tumblr to upload and host your Muxtape-style mixes.

To use Tumbltape all you need to do is upload an MP3 to your Tumblr account and then sign in to Tumbltape. Tumbltape will (in most cases) automatically pull out all the relevant track data from the ID3 tags. If you’re not good about keeping your ID3 data neat and tidy, you can always tag your Tumblr post using the structure, tt:artist name - track name, and Tumbltape will use that info to build a playlist.

Tumbltape will show the last 12 files you uploaded to Tumblr; as you add more it simply bumps the older ones off your playlist. if you upload a track you don’t want Tumbltape to list, just use the tag tt:skip.

There are some limitations to what you can do with Tumbltape — for instance, Tumblr only allows you to upload one MP3 a day and there’s no rearranging a playlist, you need to plan ahead and upload song in the proper order — but if you’re looking for a really easy way to create an online mix to share with your friends, Tumbltape makes a decent alternative to Muxtape.

via Lifehacker

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8Tracks Picks Up Where Muxtape Left Off

8trackIf you’re still on a quest to find a replacement for currently closed Muxtape music streaming site, 8Tracks offers similar features and adds a search engine and album artwork to the mix — two nice options Muxtape never offered.

Otherwise the two services are very similar, 8Tracks allows you to create and share 30-minute MP3 playlists just like Muxtape, Favtape and others. Looking for something in particular? Just search and see how other users have mixed your favorite song into their playlists.

You can also search by type of music, artist, 8tracks user and more.

There’s a pretty good chance that 8tracks will eventually fall under the RIAA’s whack-a-mole mallet, but at least for now, it’s a viable replacement for Muxtape.

The only real criticism we found is that the service’s stylized “8″ in the logo does, as a Lifehacker reader points out, bear a rather strong resemblance to the curvy “F” in Fedora’s logo.

If 8Tracks doesn’t float your boat and you’re still missing Muxtape, your could always Host Your Own Muxtape Clone With OpenTape.

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File Under: Multimedia, Programming

Host Your Own Muxtape Clone With OpenTape

Opentape_2Muxtape, the web service that let you create music mixes to share with your friends, is currently wrestling with the RIAA and has, at least for now, shut its doors. But if you’re fan of the service and you happen to have some web hosting space available there’s a new open source project that allows you to create your own hosted Muxtape.

OpenTape, as the project is known, is written in PHP and is no more difficult to set up than WordPress. Of course, being a self-hosted program, OpenTape isn’t going to work for everyone, but if you have a server running PHP5 and Apache all you need to do is upload the OpenTape package.

If you’re a band looking for a cheap, easy way to get your music on the web, OpenTape could be a great option. Thanks to an included embeddable music player, OpenTape would be an easy way for your fans to take your tracks to their own sites and help spread the word.

While it does require some technical chops, OpenTape has managed to reduce installation to a matter of drag-and-drop FTPing (or scp if you’re the command line type). I set up OpenTape on my local home server and was up and running in about five minutes.

The results are pretty much an exact feature clone of Muxtape — create a playlist, upload your tracks (or use SFTP, since it’s on your server) and create your mix.

There’s an embedded player available, so if you want, you can stream your OpenTape mixes to other sites — beware the bandwidth though.

As nice as it all sounds there are some potential legal issues. Hosting your own version of Muxtape might open you up to the same fees and legal concerns that brought down Muxtape and are threatening to bring down Pandora. There’s a fair use argument to make with Muxtape, but it hasn’t been tested in court and we’re no lawyers, so proceed at your own risk.

One possible way to avoid the RIAA would be to dive into OpenTape’s source code and modify it to stream music from Seeqpod or the like, which is what FavTape does to avoid the legal issues that come from hosting the actual files. Assuming you have some experience with PHP it shouldn’t be too hard to whip something up.

From a technical standpoint, while it’s true that OpenTape seriously tilts the RIAA’s whack-a-mole game in your favor — assuming it catches on — never under estimate the number of mole-whacking mallets the RIAA can wield.

[high five Factory Joe, Twitter]

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File Under: Multimedia

Muxtape Shuts Down to Deal with RIAA

MuxtapeMuxtape, one of our favorite ways to share playlists, has temporarily shut down due to unspecified pressures from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The company’s blog assures users that the shutdown is not permanent and Muxtape will eventually return.

Muxtape is one of many services that offer streaming music from user-created playlists — you upload the MP3 files, and others can listen to them, but there’s no built-in way for anyone to download the tracks.

While the company has offered few details about what what is behind the shutdown, it’s not hard to imagine that uploading MP3′s rubs the RIAA the wrong way. Many similar sites (like Favtape) use Seeqpod to serve MP3s, allowing them to sidestep concerns about hosting actual song files.

The Muxtape blog did offer a small update late yesterday evening saying, “No artists or labels have complained,” and reiterating that “the site is not closed indefinitely.”

Another possibility is that Muxtape has run afoul of the licensing fees associated with streaming audio — the same problem that’s haunting Pandora. However broadcast fees are generally handled by SoundExchange and not the RIAA.

Whatever the cause, at least for now, there’s no Muxtape for you.

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File Under: Software & Tools

Exorbitant Fees May Force Pandora to Shut Down Popular Radio Service

pandora.jpgPandora is quite simply one of the best ways to discover new music on the web. What Pandora lacks in social discovery tools (like those popularized by Last.fm), it more than makes up for with its brilliant music matching algorithm. Recently Pandora experienced a surge of new listeners thanks to an excellent iPhone app, but unfortunately that may not be enough to save the popular internet radio service.

Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, recently told the Washington Post that the service is “approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision.” The service says it won’t be able to continue in the face of the new exorbitant licensing fees levied on internet broadcasters. At the behest of the music industry, the licensing fees for internet radio are roughly double what traditional radio stations pay.

For Pandora that means that 70 percent of this year’s projected revenue of $25 million will go to pay royalties. Already the service has been forced to shut down its international broadcasts.

So why must internet radio stations pay exorbitant performance rights fees when terrestrial broadcaster pay nothing to broadcast the same songs to a much larger audience? There doesn’t seem to be answer to that questions save the cynical one: internet radio lacks the powerful Washington lobby that traditional radio has developed over the years.

Curious how powerful that lobby is? Consider this: traditional radio pays nothing in performance royalties.

It’ll be a shame if Pandora shuts its doors, especially given that Pandora is playing, and exposing people to, artists far outside the limited playlist of mainstream radio, artists many would never know were it not for Pandora.

Of course yet another example of the music industry shooting itself in the foot is hardly news. Between the lawsuits, DMCA takedown notices and crippling web radio fees, you’d be forgiven for thinking the music industry is designed solely to stop you from listening to music.

And sad though it may seem, it doesn’t look like the music industry will be satisfied until it has firmly knotted the noose and taken a last suicidal leap to its final resting place in the history of bad ideas.

Pandora isn’t giving up the fight just yet, Westergren says that NPR-style ads are in the works, but even that seems unlikely to save the company over the long run. Pandora is looking to Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Calif.) who is fighting to reach a last-minute deal to lower the broadcast fees.

But if Berman fails, Pandora doesn’t plan to stick around. “If it doesn’t feel like [the royalty fees] are headed towards a solution,” Westergren tells the Post, “we’re done.”

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