A few weeks ago I eulogised about Mixwit, a site that allowed you to create your own mixtapes, embed them in blogs and the like, and generally feel nostalgic for the 1980s through to the mid-90s. Now it seems it may be going the same way as Muxtape, a similar kind of site that taken down after problems with the RIAA.
Mixwit isn't actually down. It's just that a large number of songs I've put on compilation tapes are now unavailable and the amount of songs that are available for new tapes are decreasing by the day to the point that the site isn't worth bothering with.
Mixwit, in many ways, was no different than putting together a compilation tape for friends when you were younger. Sure, it was technically illegal but everybody did it and it helped share great new music among like minded people. Now it seems introducing friends and colleagues to songs they might like is a bad thing.
Mixwit and Muxtape aren't in the same league as Napster - these are just people who want to create that perfect compilation for a sunny day and share with others. They're fun. They're fan communities. They're also very very bad.
I have no idea what the solution is to making sites like Muxtape and Mixwit work with the record industry (if I did, I suspect I'd be a lot richer) but surely just throwing cease and desist notices isn't the way? As Adam Tinworth notes, the music industry spends a lot of time killing things for something that's meant to be a creative industry.