The MeFi Music Mixtape Swap 2019 April 1, 2019 11:55 AM   Subscribe

It’s time for the very first all-digital MetaFilter Music Mixtape Swap! Signups are open from now until April 14. Then it’s time to make a mix of your favourite tracks, create a cover, upload it to the internet and get five awesome mixes from fellow MeFites.

How does this swap work?

- I’ll organise everyone who signs up into groups of (approximately) six
- You make a playlist of music you love and create a cover for it—feel free to get as arty or as minimalistic as you like
- Upload it somewhere other people can download it from (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
- You can optionally create a playlist on the streaming service of your choice and share that too… but the default for this swap is transferring actual files (here are some reasons why)
Once you get your group assignment, send everyone in it a link to your mixtape!

What are the important dates?

- Signups: April 1-14
- Group allocation: April 19
- Deadline for sending mixes: May 17 (four weeks later)

Sounds great! How do I sign up?

Put your MeFi username and email address into this signup sheet. There’s an optional question about preferred streaming services: if you fill it out, I will try to group you with like-minded folks, so you can swap playlists there as well as by uploading files. If you don’t care, just leave it blank.

Time for shoutouts!

CMcG got the ball rolling on this swap, after carsonb ran the original CD-R Mixtape Swap for years. Thanks, both! Also, Zarkonnen has offered to help me out in case of any unexpected organisational challenges, because he’s great.

Anything else?

This is my first time administering a music swap, so I have no idea what can go wrong, but I’m sure it will be fun!
posted by daisyk to MetaFilter-Related at 11:55 AM (35 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

Woot!
posted by Margalo Epps at 1:09 PM on April 1


I am so down for this.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 1:39 PM on April 1


Yay!
posted by amapolaroja at 3:42 PM on April 1


I knew I'd forget something!

The suggested limit for playlists is 700 MB, approx. 80 minutes, same as a CD-R. :)
posted by daisyk at 4:23 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


I was unusually delighted with a mix I made about a year and a half ago and I thought "the next time there's a cd swap I'm contributing this" and then shortly before Christmas my computer died and I lost shitloads of music that wasn't backed up ... so ... sorry ... \_(ツ)_/

(I think it's unlikely I'll have time to produce a new one before the deadline but if music be the food of love, play on ... )
posted by octobersurprise at 6:46 AM on April 2


Thank you thank you thank you, daisyk. My dad had a stroke and my toddler had usual toddler illnesses so I couldn’t take this on right now. But it makes me SO happy to see this happening.
posted by CMcG at 9:58 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


I listen to the same stuff all the time. Every once in a while I discover something new-to-me and listen to that all the time too/instead. This is really cool.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:09 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


This is great!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:56 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]


Hmmmm. Tempting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:26 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]


This will be the first mixtape I've tried since well, the days of tapes. I have a feeling it will be rather eclectic. Whee!
posted by zengargoyle at 12:44 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]


My musical tastes have been pulled in so many directions since the last swap day. I look forward to seeing how I can reconcile them all within the confines of a (virtual) C-90.
posted by mykescipark at 1:23 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]


CMcG, I hope your dad is making good progress and things get easier soon. Thanks again for the impetus to do this - I've been wishing someone would do another swap for probably years, without stepping up myself!
posted by daisyk at 12:35 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


mykescipark, I just checked out your profile page, and I can say with 100% certainty that my mix is going to include something off your latest album, wow!
posted by daisyk at 1:03 AM on April 4


So in.
posted by signal at 4:39 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Fantastic, definitely in. Stopped doing these things a while back when I ended up having to send 4 CDs internationally (at the cost of about $100 in postage when I was relatively poor) and got only 2 in return. Anyways, glad we're finally on the digital train.

Do we have a standard for length? I assume we'll be shooting for 12-15 songs, but we may want to make that stated. Not sure if I'm going to listen to a playlist of 526 MP3s. I'm also assuming we're doing only MP3s. I also assume we're doing playlists through numbered, file-named MP3s...
posted by General Malaise at 4:24 PM on April 5


The max length suggestion upthread was a CDR-standard 80 minutes.

I share your assumption that MP3 will be the standard unless otherwise specified.
posted by dreamlanding at 6:44 PM on April 5


The max length suggestion upthread was a CDR-standard 80 minutes.

Personally, I'm sticking with my idea from the previous thread and conceptualizing mine as an old-school C-90 mixtape (including a hand-lettered J-card), with two "sides" of 45 minutes each.

But time-delimiting it to one physical media or the other would be the core concept.
posted by mykescipark at 9:31 PM on April 5


Yeah, I'm also going the C-90 route but so far there are a few longer things and a few shorter things that people could easily cut out to make it to the 80 minute mark. Also thinking about having a Bonus set with a few left-over things and the original flac, aac, etc. so if somebody really likes something the better quality version is available.

I'm basically doing the same thing I usually do which is queue up some 20 random tracks at a time and just piling up things that get my groove on into a playlist. Eventually it'll be trying to pare that down into a side A/B.

Anybody have a good Linux tool to do conversions while keeping meta-info?
posted by zengargoyle at 10:08 AM on April 6

> Anybody have a good Linux tool to do conversions while keeping meta-info?
fre:ac works for me.
posted by farlukar at 8:52 AM on April 7


Totally in. Haven't shared mixtapes with anyone I didn't know since USENET days.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:56 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]


I haven't done a swap before. I suddenly find myself intimidated, that I'll send out a mix that has nothing unknown for anyone and be branded lame and unadventurous. But I'm reviewing my 5-star folder nonetheless.

I'm also tempted to go the Guardians of the Galaxy route and put in a few lesser-known gems from the 70s or 80s that might not be new, but that people might not have in their collections. Would that go over well? Oh, and very different covers of fairly well-known songs.
posted by timepiece at 9:58 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Oh, and very different covers of fairly well-known songs.

I get together with an old internet buddy for a Discord chat roughly monthly based around us catching up, trading music and "blind listening" with no identifying information until we swap state secrets at the end of our session. Over the years many of the most WTF-I-MUST-HAVE-THIS-NOW moments have resulted from off-the-beaten path covers of songs we both know.

I anticipate enjoying everything I receive. There's something about listening through someone else's ears that heightens everything and lends a different mode of appreciation to a song.

I've looked forward to every one of those blind listening sessions mentioned above for going on 7 years now.
posted by dreamlanding at 1:01 PM on April 11


To be clear, we're just uploading 80-90 minutes of music, along with a pintable cover, right? I don't do a lot of this kind of thing.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:01 AM on April 14


I would like to creep in under the window for this! New music, woo hoo.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:35 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Room 641-A: yep, that's the idea!

Going To Maine: yay, welcome!

Just to keep people updated, I will be setting up the groups for the swap in the next couple of days, and I'll email you with them on Friday at the latest. I'll probably keep the survey open till I get to that, in case anyone else wants to join up last-minute.

I am thrilled by every single comment here about how people's mixes will probably take shape. Can't wait to hear some! \o/
posted by daisyk at 7:13 AM on April 16


I meant to add, in case anyone's looking for some 2003-15 deep cuts, check out vibratory manner of working's last few comments in the MySpace-music-deletion thread. :)
posted by daisyk at 7:15 AM on April 16


I'm now trying to get my list down to 90 minutes. I'm at 140. But I want to share them all!
posted by timepiece at 7:19 AM on April 16


So what's the verdict, 80 minutes, 90, 2x45, other?
(To complicate things unnecessarily: C90 generally is 2x46.5 (iirc); overburn on a CD tends to get you 81)
posted by farlukar at 8:43 AM on April 16


It’s more of a fuzzy limit than a hard one. I would say 90 minutes max, but I’ll be doing 80 minutes. (Watch me regret committing to that!)
posted by daisyk at 12:47 PM on April 16


Status update: I have emailed everybody who signed up! Yell at me (via memail or by emailing mefimusicswap@gmail.com) if I got something wrong or you have an unaddressed need.

Statistics (because we're a bunch of nerds):
- 58 people signed up, and were sorted into eight groups of six and two groups of five.
- 16 people use Spotify, 12 use YouTube, 4 use Soundcloud, and 3 use Apple Music.
- There were one response each for Google Play, Tidal, "various radio station archives", and "Most of the music I'm using isn't available commercially."
- I did not sort myself into the same group as that last person, but only because I didn't think of it till just now. *facepalm*
- Only one email address bounced, which from my experience is a pretty good rate. (I'm memailing that person.)
posted by daisyk at 9:34 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Mine ended up being a much different animal than I originally intended, but I’m super happy with it anyway. I’ve been sitting on it for a week already, so it’s nice to get it into the hands of other humans. Thanks daisyk for making this a reality!
posted by mykescipark at 1:13 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Mine will be CD length, 74min.
posted by rhizome at 8:00 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Mine is mixtape length, just under 45 minutes for each side.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:18 AM on April 20


Tagging preferences - For a collection of mp3s, would people prefer to have the individual pieces retain their album tag, or to have the album tag be unified and use the Original Album tag to ID the source album?

I personally prefer to have my compilations as one album, otherwise I get a ton of "albums" with one song each. But I'll defer to a group consensus if one can be established.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:21 AM on April 20


I'll probably use Album Artist for that grouping.
posted by rhizome at 11:16 AM on April 20


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