This morning I saw a Twitter post that said simply "Say it ain't so, Muxtape!"



My heart skipped a beat--Muxtape.com is my favorite site for sharing music. It allows users to upload twelve songs from their computer, then creates a playlist and a URL they can share with there friends. I've been dutifully waiting for their iPhone app to arrive but after seeing the above screencap, can we believe we'll ever see an app or even their website again???



Why must the RIAA be so draconian? I understand protecting copyrights, but I'm not sure how Muxtape makes their money, so I can't imagine what grounds the RIAA has for threatening the site when all it ends up being is a site that allows users to share mixes of the favorite audio tracks--hell, at http://thepete.muxtape.com/ I have a handful of straight audio clips that aren't even music.



And is it me, or does behavior like this from big business just make them look bad? What about the folks that actually buy music that they hear for the first time on Muxtape?



Something similar is happening with Pandora.com. Rather than looking at the site as a massive commercial for music, Sound Exchange (the group in charge of collecting royalties for musicians) is now demanding royalties so high from online music sites that the peole behind Pandora are considering shutting down.



Pandora is a site that allows you to create your own custom radio station based on the artist or song name you enter. Essentially, it's exactly like the process you go through when choosing a traditional radio station--you know, you pick the one the plays mostly music that you like (if you can find one). Pandora.com does this all for you--pretty cool, huh? Except the royalties Pandora.com has to pay, I've heard, are twice what traditional radio stations have to pay. I think the excuse is that on the web so many peole can listen to the music.



I'm just going to come out and say it: fuck the free market--it is stifling the growth of music and is cutting off innovation.



The system as it is now creates boring, unrisky, music that doesn't push art (and therefore humanity) forward. I gave up on traditional radio over a decade ago and have been getting introduced to new music through movie soundtracks and friends who are musicians. Thanks to sites like Pandora and Muxtape, I'm actually listening to new music again. Well, I WAS.



Who thought greed would be a good business model, anyway?
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