Mixaloo: The Return of the Mixtape

first_imgWith the rise of MP3s and other forms of downloadable music, the venerable mixtape, which Wikipedia says gained mass popularity in the 1980s, may be going the way of the dodo. It is, afterall, rather hard to give someone an iTunes playlist, not to mention a whole lot less romantic (if that’s what you’re after). But New York-based Mixaloo isn’t about to let the mixtape die.Mixaloo revives the art form of mixtape creation by packaging mixtapes as flash widgets that you can spread via social networks or blogs. These “digital mixtapes” are powered by Clearspring, and while they don’t play full songs (just samples), they do something arguably better: they can make you money.The Mixaloo widget doesn’t just show off you smooth musical taste, but also acts as a mini-store front from which your peers can purchase your creations. We created a Bob Marley-heavy mix (embedded below) that has 14 tracks — Mixaloo puts that at a $15.22 price point. Mixaloo offers a 50-50 profit share (or about 20-40 cents per song) with mixtape makers. Mixaloo also offers a points system. Users earn points for doing things like selling tracks, and recommending related artists that the app suggests during mixtape creation. Points can be redeemed for things like Mixaloo merchandise and audio equipment.Mixaloo entered public beta just a couple of weeks ago, and though mixtape creation is easy and I was very impressed by the sheer amount of albums and songs it has listed — more than 3 million of them (including many obscure live tracks that other music services tend to overlook), there were some hiccups.For example, when trying to get the embed code for my widget, I often got an error saying the widget could not be found — especially after trying to change the widget’s colors or theme. Further, though I got Mixaloo to accept my uploaded cover artwork, it is nowhere to be found on the widget itself. And speaking of the widget, every time I have tried to purchase my mix, it asks me to create an account — I already have an account, but there appears to be no way to log in with it from the widget!The downside of having so many songs in the library, is that Mixaloo has to offer songs protected by Windows Playsforsure DRM. Yuck. It would be great if Mixaloo could offer DRM free tracks from record labels that are open to the idea (like EMI). With the public’s growing distaste for DRM could potentially hamper the growth of the service, but it is a necessary evil if you want to work with most of the major labels.It’s probably premature to say that Apple is losing any sleep over Mixaloo (and the services aren’t really comparable, as iTunes sells to people looking for specific tracks, while Mixaloo hopes to sell people based on the recommendations of their friends). But speaking of making money on the long tail, Mixaloo is a perfect example of a business whose approach to utilizing the long tail is smart. They’re using the distributed nature of social networks and blogs to promote music sales virally to a massive audience on a personal level.“We created Mixaloo to merge that experience with the viral nature of blogs and social networking communities, giving users the added incentive of earning cash for popular mixes. This ‘social record store’ creates a vast network of personal recommendations to increase sales and visibility for artists of all sizes,” said Mixaloo CEO Mark Stutzman. Work out the bugs and Mixaloo could make be a winner. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#web josh catone 1last_img read more

Of politics and finance in Indian sports

first_imgSharda UgraPolitics, as we understand it, is usually party versus party. Congress vs BJP vs RJD vs LSD vs WMD… you get the drift. Politics, as the Ministry of Sports sees it, is a different, diversionary kind of tactic.Here party lines blur and the only line adhered to is one,Sharda UgraPolitics, as we understand it, is usually party versus party. Congress vs BJP vs RJD vs LSD vs WMD… you get the drift. Politics, as the Ministry of Sports sees it, is a different, diversionary kind of tactic.Here party lines blur and the only line adhered to is one of self-interest. All those in favour of perpetuating self-rule on one side and the befuddled babus on another. If this were a wrestling contest, it would be like sending a 50 kg stick insect up against a 110 kg gorilla. As things stand, India’s leading federation bosses, the er… above mentioned gorillas, first have their cakes bought with public money. Then they get to eat them too with a bunch of bananas-trips to the Olympics and other world events – thrown in as bonus. Suresh Kalmadi, P.R. Dasmunshi, K.P.S. Gill, V.K. Malhotra, Digvijay Singh, K.P. Singh Deo, et al, belong to India’s original Backscratchers Union.They have survived changes of government, ideology, policy and post-Olympics purges because they look after one another. Just as the BCCI lives in mortal dread of a “corporate takeover” and so resists professionalisation, our sports administrators also invoke the bogeys of a “threat to autonomy”.It’s great, this autonomy. It means a freedom from accountability (and actually from accounting) but does not imply demonstrating the dynamism to find independent funding. For that there is always the bottomless pool of our taxes.In the ministry, when faced with this powerful all-party club, they tend to throw up their hands and then do the easy thing – go after tricolours on helmets or what the cricket team is called. In recent months, though, something stirred: elite athletes were told they could bypass their federations and approach the ministry directly for funding.Now a scale for financing sports based not on a fixed priority list of disciplines but on a dynamic performance rating is being formulated. Whether the new sports minister will follow through on this is another matter. A few months ago, a meeting of state sports ministers was to discuss moving sport from the state list to the concurrent list, i.e. putting sport under Central control. Just before the meeting, a senior Indian Olympic Association (IOA) official hosted the ministers for breakfast after which the collective power of persuasion and pakoras had them opting for the status quo.advertisementYes, the government of India is not the world’s most efficient creature and yes it has more important things to do. But when it foots the bill for most Olympic sports, you would think a statement of expenses is the least it is entitled to.last_img read more

Prosecution appeal against Oscar Pistorius verdict accepted

first_imgIn this Oct, 2014 file photo, Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in court in Pretoria South Africa. Photo: APOscar Pistorius again faces the possibility of a murder conviction after a South African judge ruled Wednesday that prosecutors can appeal against the double-amputee Olympian’s conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide.The sensational case will go to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which will review the murder trial of Pistorius, who fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through the closed door of a toilet cubicle on Valentine’s Day last year.Judge Thokozile Masipa, who convicted Pistorius and sentenced him to five years in jail, acknowledged that chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel had raised legitimate “questions of law” that should be studied by the appeals court.”This might have a practical effect” on the conviction, Masipa said.”We note the finding of the court and abide by the ruling,” Pistorius’ family said in a statement.Pistorius could face a minimum of 15 years in prison if the appeals court overturns the culpable homicide conviction and raises it to a murder conviction.Under his current sentence, Pistorius could be released from prison and placed under house arrest after serving 10 months, or one-sixth of his sentence. It is unclear whether the appeals court will have ruled on his case within 10 months.Nathi Mncube, the prosecution spokesman, said he hopes the appeal will be “expedited,” but acknowledged that the process can take a long time.”We’re happy,” Mncube told journalists.The approval of an appeal represented a victory for South African prosecutors who had been disappointed that Pistorius was acquitted of murder.advertisementIn another disappointment for the state, British businessman Shrien Dewani left South Africa on Tuesday after being acquitted of the murder of his wife Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.The appeals court has panels of three or five judges and does not meet again until Feb. 15, according to the website of the court, which is based in the South African city of Bloemfontein. Decisions are based on the opinion of a majority of judges.”Witnesses do not appear before the court, and the parties need not be present during the hearing of an appeal. A written judgment is usually handed down shortly after the argument,” the court’s website says.In arguing for an appeal, the prosecution said Judge Masipa incorrectly interpreted a legal principle. Under that principle, a person should be found guilty of murder if he foresaw the possibility of a person dying because of his actions, and went ahead with those actions anyway.While approving an appeal against her own verdict, Masipa rejected the prosecution’s argument for an appeal of the sentence for culpable homicide. Prosecutors had said it was too lenient.In any case, if the appeals court finds Pistorius guilty of murder, the sentence would automatically be raised to match the severity of the crime.Pistorius said he thought a dangerous intruder was in the house when he killed Steenkamp, a model and budding reality TV star; prosecutors allege he killed his girlfriend after an argument.Pistorius’ legs were amputated below the knees when he was 11 months old because he was born without fibula bones due to a congenital defect. However, he grew up playing sports with prosthetics. The sight of Pistorius racing at the London Olympics on carbon-fiber blades was one of the enduring and inspirational images of the 2012 games.last_img read more