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The viral mash-up machine isn’t magic, but that doesn’t spoil its fun

The viral mash-up machine isn’t magic, but that doesn’t spoil its fun


2007 forever?

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ipod classic

I made this haiku in three minutes, and it perfectly describes the charm of The Magic iPod, a simple website with a few choice compatible songs from the iPod generation that lovers of mash-ups will enjoy.

Click on 50 Cent.

Drag on to Evanescence

Instantly mash-up.

The site has 20 preselected rap songs on the left and 23 rock songs on the right; you can drag and drop from the left side to the right side to make your mash-up dreams come true.

The Magic iPod has gone viral over the last few weeks thanks to its catchy name and throwback tunes, but looks and titles can be deceiving. The interface is not reminiscent of a classic iPod, as the name implies. There’s also not a lot of magic involved. The site’s design suggests you’re in control of the song wizardry, but the site doesn’t create mash-ups on the fly. Instead, it pulls from previously mashed-up combinations.

Worse, many of the mash-ups are kind of lazy; they're more about matching the tempo than making a creative musical choice. I did this one night after my haiku class with Ableton Live Intro:

Don’t get me wrong: I really enjoy listening to Lil Jon and Fountains of Wayne at the same time! The Magic iPod is not going to replace an Apple Music subscription, but it is a little nostalgia bomb that lets me cram together a bunch of classic 2000s songs to pump me up before I go out on a date.

Maybe it’s more like a good magic trick than I suspected. Sure, there’s no musical spell-casting, let alone a brilliant mash-up making algorithm, but who cares if the audience is ready to buy into the illusion.

So keep sharing it on Facebook, keep tweeting it, make someone put on headphones and smile for 5 minutes today, it has good intentions! And it has a link to donate to the ACLU so honestly what’s not to love?

There’s something powerful here, even if it’s flawed.