Muxtape, an online mix tape-making service, has been a big hit with music fans on the social web. The site lets you upload mp3s to create a playlist you can share with anyone. Now, a new service called Muxfind lets you to search through the muxtapes created by others in order to discover new artists, songs, and muxtapes that you might enjoy.
Using Muxfind is as simple as using any search engine - and you don't need a Muxtape login to access it. Above the search box, you have three options to search by: "Find Artists and Songs," "Discover by Muxtape," and "Discover by Artist."
The first option will simply return results either listing songs by the artist you searched for or the songs matching the song title you entered. Each link actually takes you to the muxtape where the song can be played, so you may need to scroll down in order to find it.
The second option, "Discover by Muxtape," will help you find new Muxtapes to enjoy. To use this option, you enter in the name of a muxtape that you liked, and Muxfind will return muxtapes that are similar to it, in terms of mood or genre, as best we can tell, that is. There is no info on how this matching algorithm works, but it does seem to return results from the same overall "genre" of music. For example, a muxtape by Stefan, which featured Bloc Party, Shins, and The Chemical Brothers, matched up with muxtapes featuring Moby, Depeche Mode, and Morphine.
Search by Artist on Muxfind
The final option also returns similarity-based results, but this time specifically by artist. For example, if you do a search for Radiohead, you'll get a list of results that link to muxtapes where a Radiohead song is included in the playlist. This option doesn't always work as well since some people's muxtapes are quite eclectic and include Radiohead tunes right along with NIN and Public Enemy, whereas others keep theirs more mellow as a whole, combining Radiohead with other mellow artists like The Postal Service or Modest Mouse.
However, that isn't so much of an issue with the Muxfind service itself - it just reflects the varying tastes of the users on Muxtape. If anything, this "problem" could be looked at as a feature instead because a user who strangely pairs Radiohead with NIN may just have a musical taste similar to yours, even if the two songs don't seem to automatically go with each other as being "similar artists." Much like a radio station simply plays artists in the same genre of music, Muxfind, in the same vein, could help you find online streams of artists in the same genre, too.
On A VC, Fred Wilson notes another reason that services like Muxfind and other user-gen search tools have value: they are "a bit of a quality filter." Because it takes time and effort to post something on the web, whether a playlist, a link, a photo, or video, the items that people actually take the time to upload are usually something worthwhile.
Muxfind isn't by any means the first or best music search/discovery service, Grooveshark, Last.fm, Hype Machine, Mixwit, and even iTunes offer ways to search and find new music to love. However, for those that love the muxtape format, Muxfind is worth a look.