Anyone who's come within a mouse length of me and a computer in the last four or five months has heard me proselytize the miracle of Muxtape. The icon to the left of your screen, which used to link you to my muxtape, now leads you to the image on the right.
For the uninitiated, muxtape.com was a free website that allowed users to upload 12 of their favorite MP3s at any one time to create your own personal soundtracks and share them with the world wide web. Likewise, any mux-maker could stream in other mixes and listen to their hearts content, without actually owning anyone else's music. Unless of course you clicked the "Buy MP3" link located beneath every track on every muxtape, which led you to amazon.com, bringing the necessary evil into the mux and allowing for the song's purchase.
The real beauty of this site wasn't all the obscure music I discovered. It wasn't all the muxtapes I tagged as my favorites or the like-minded sensibilities I found through that feature. It wasn't even the four users who became fans of my muxtape, although I checked frequently, always hoping that number would go up.
No, the real beauty was its simplicity. From the looks of it, you'd never know there was corporate involvement. Large, graphic song titles and the color of your mux label. That's all there was. It was Internet Bauhaus .
Now of course, the RIAA has put an end to all this harmless fun that could actually boost record sales for artists who might otherwise go undiscovered. And why not? Users found a way to share music legally, so the powers that be just went ahead and made it illegal.
I really hate people a lot.