What The MixTape Is Back? We Interview Los Angeles Startup Mixtaping.FM

Do you remember those late nights you used to sit around your bedroom with your dual cassette deck and make sweet mix tapes for your girlfriend or boyfriend, yeah me neither. (Ok yes I actually do). Well if you were into creating mix tapes for that special someone than Los Angeles based startup mixtaping.fm may be for you.

Mixtaping.fm has taken the concept of making mix tapes and brought them up to date. They offer a cloud based platform that lets you create 30 minute mix tapes, legally.

Edward Chan, the co-founder of Mixtaping.fm realizes that today’s “mix tapes” in the sense we’re talking here, are very similar to playlists but there are problems with playlists. First off everyone’s playlists are on different services. Some services require you to sign up and pay a fee just to listen to the playlist. Other services are so obscure that it’s hard to find anything.

Mixtaping.fm lets you make a custom 30 minute “mix tape” with music that you like, or want to specifically share with someone or a group, and then you can share it easily.

One of the other big things with Mixtaping.fm is that they’ve integrated Facebook and Instagram so not only can you create a “mix tape” but you can also create cover art.

MixTaping integrates with Spotify and has plans to integrate Rdio as well.

We got a chance to talk with Chan in the interview below.

What is your Mixtaping.fm

Mixtaping.fm lets you create, share and discover mixtapes with your friends.
Just like back in the day when you made mixtapes for your high school crush, Mixtaping.fm allows you to create a mixtape and dedicate it to your Facebook and Twitter friends.

Staying true to the art, Mixtaping.fm has a 30 minute limit per side and lets you add photos as cover art from Facebook and Instagram.

You can currently stream full tracks via Spotify and soon Rdio.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds

Mixtaping.fm was founded by Edward Chan (myself) and Sang Noh. I’m the CEO and Technologist and was previously at MySpace, Spot Runner, and CarsDirect.Sang is Head of Product, and his resume includes Friendster, Citysearch and Evite. Both Sang and I focused most of our careers building and scaling large technology products and felt that is was the right time to branch out on our own and build a compelling consumer focused product centered around music.

Where are you based?

We’re based out of Los Angeles, California.

What is the startup culture like where you are based?

The startup scene has really picked up in the last year or so.  Everywhere you turn, all you hear about are the new startups popping up in “Silicon Beach”.  It’s really a great place to be right now, especially for companies like us that see the value in the convergence of Media and Technology. Plus, accelerators like Muckerlabs and Science are putting out some great products and paving the way for more startups to be based out of Los Angeles.

What problem does your startup solve?

The problem that we saw in the space was that music discovery was really based on an algorithmic method of presenting music to you and we felt that it was impossible for an algorithm to really capture the sentiment and context around a playlist. Making a mixtape is a deeply personal way of expressing yourself through music and Mixtaping.fm is the social expression engine that lets you do that in a fun and meaningful way.

Another problem, that was really a personal problem I wanted to solve, is that playlists exist everywhere but you have to go through a lot to just to find them. We wanted to build a system in which you were able to dedicate mixtapes to your friends (just like back in the day when you made mixtapes for your high school crush) so that new music was pushed to you directly through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. We also wanted to make music more visual by adding cover art to really capture the moment and the sentiment behind why you were making this mixtape in the first place.  So we added Facebook and Instagram photos to really help you with that.

What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?

There were and are so many challenges when creating a startup.  I don’t think there wasn’t a time when we didn’t face a change.  One of the biggest challenges that we had to overcome really was the process of just launching the product.  We have been working on the idea for around 6 months, and internally pivoted the idea several times just to make sure we got the product right before we were ready to show the world.  We learned quickly that no product is going to be perfect right out of the gates. And it turned out the best feedback we got were actually from real users using the site.  We’ve learned that releasing your product early and iterating often was the best thing we could’ve done for our business.

Who are your mentors and role models?

Kevin Systrom, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey are our obvious role models,  because they are unrelenting in their pursuit of product perfection.

But the more personal role models are my parents.  My parents are both immigrants to America, and with little help, become very successful American Entrepreneurs.  Times  were a lot harder back then and to witness what they accomplished is very inspiring for me.

Whats one thing the world doesn’t know about you or Mixtaping.fm?

I don’t think a lot of people know how small our team is.  We are just a team of 3, and we all work remotely through out Southern California.  We all have our one strong skill, but we also all wear multiple hats.  We help out wherever we can.

What’s next Mixtaping.fm?

We will continue our focus on providing a compelling product for our users. We have plans to launch a mobile version of our application on both iOS and Android, in the near future.


Check out Mixtaping.fm here

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