Muxtape Relaunch

Muxtape-Erfinder Justin relauncht den geschlossenen Musik-Dienst Muxtape als Plattform für Bands, die damit ihre Musik unters Volk bringen können. Soweit, so gewöhnlich. Der Text, den er dazu allerdings geschrieben hat, erzählt die ganze Geschichte von Muxtape und die ist ein hochinteressanter Einblick ins Musik-Bizz. Man erkennt sehr schnell, woran die Labels im Internet scheitern: sie sind zu groß, zu behäbig, zu sehr auf Rechteverwaltung fixiert, zu sehr mit Paragraphen beschäftigt, um überhaupt jemals so etwas wie ein schlankes, einfaches System für Online-Musik entwerfen zu können. Das hier ist eine Geschichte mit Dinosauriern.

The servers were shut down and I was locked out of the account. I moved the domain name to a new server with a short message and the very real expectation that I could get it sorted out. I still thought it was all just a big mistake. I was wrong.

Over the next week I learned a little more, mainly that the RIAA moves quite autonomously from their label parents and that the understanding I had with them didn’t necessarily carry over. I also learned that none of the labels were especially interested in helping me out, and from their perspective it had no bearing on the negotiations. I disagreed. The deals were still weeks or months away (an eternity on the internet) meaning that at best, Muxtape was going to be down until the end of year. There was also still the matter of how to pay for it; getting investment is hard enough in this volatile space even with a wildly successful and growing web site, it became an entirely different proposition with no web site at all.

And so I made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever faced: I walked away from the licensing deals. They had become too complex for a site founded on simplicity, too restrictive and hostile to continue to innovate the way I wanted to. They’d already taken so much attention away from development that I started to question my own motivations. I didn’t get into this to build a big company as fast as I could no matter what the cost, I got into this to make something simple and beautiful for people who love music, and I plan to continue doing that. As promised, the site is coming back, but not as you’ve known. I’m taking a feature that was in development in the early stages and making it the new central focus.

Muxtape is relaunching as a service exclusively for bands, offering an extremely powerful platform with unheard-of simplicity for artists to thrive on the internet. Musicians in 2008 without access to a full time web developer have few options when it comes to establishing themselves online, but their needs often revolve around a common set of problems. The new Muxtape will allow bands to upload their own music and offer an embeddable player that works anywhere on the web, in addition to the original muxtape format. Bands will be able to assemble an attractive profile with simple modules that enable optional functionality such as a calendar, photos, comments, downloads and sales, or anything else they need. The system has been built from the ground up to be extended infinitely and is wrapped in a template system that will be open to CSS designers.

Muxtape relaunching soon, in the service of bands (via MeFi)