Project Opus Brings Back the

Mixx logoYesterday, Vancouver’s Project Opus Technologies launched Mixx Maker, a Facebook application that allows friends to create virtual mixtapes while remaining within the legal bounds of fair use. Shown off last year at Barcamp and Facebook Developer Garage under the former title Opus Player, Mixx Maker started as a proof of concept for a “much larger project still in development”, but they liked the idea enough to refine it into a product. In Mixx Maker, a user creates a “Mixx”, an empty playlist, and gives it a theme such as “music for our road trip” or “music for biking through Stanley Park”. The user then sends requests to friends to upload their music into the Mixx. These collaborative, social playlists can be streamed by your friends through the web interface. Songs on Mixx Maker cannot be downloaded, only streamed. This, along with facebook’s ability to define social connections is what keeps Mixx Maker within fair use. “Legal issues prevent us from offering the service where Mixxs cannot be restricted to friends” says David Gratton, CEO of Project Opus. While this rules out a stand-alone version of the application, Gratton is hoping to expand to other social networks. “One of the reasons we built was to facilitate it as a hub for bring Mixxs to other social networks, and to expose the Mixxs data to other services.” When Project Opus presented at Vancouver’s Barcamp, the developers talked about building Mixx Maker on Drupal. While popular as a content management system, adapting Drupal into the backend for a Facebook application was an uncharted path. I asked Gratton if the choice was worth the effort: “We did have a false start in the summer… We had to scrap our work and restart from scratch”. After some debate, the team has carried on with Drupal, looking towards future integration with their other Drupal projects and third party services. “When we considered the longer term prospects for MIXX, Drupal was a no brainer.”