What’s The Difference Between A Mixtape, Album, EP, and LP?

What’s The Difference Between a Mixtape, Album, EP, and LP?

Written by Jaron Lewis

There are a lot of terms that may be confusing when it comes to new musicians, including understanding the differences between EP and mixtape. You may also be wondering “what’s the difference between an album and a mixtape?”

These are very important for you to understand if you are going to find any success in the music world. Here, we will explain all about mixtape vs. album vs. EP so that you know what your options are in this digital music industry.

Typically used for the Rap and R&B genres, this is a common way for these types of artists to release their music. One of the reasons why this is used by rappers and R&B stars is because it can help a musician appeal to the masses in order to increase their popularity. It is also a way for R&B stars to show their fans that they have more range and that they even have amazing rapping skills that they want to show off.

Lastly, this is also used as a way to help keep the fans happy if it has been a while before a studio release when they get a little anxious about the weight. Mixtapes are often available to download for free rather than being sold in stores.

An album is usually a more professional sounding release have several songs on it. It is very similar to an LP though it is promoted and released in a manner where it can be tracked by Nielsen Soundscan.

If you have a record contract, the album is what is counted towards the completion of this contract. They may be created by an artist but the record label is the one that controls it throughout the entire process, including the process of creation.


Extended Play, otherwise known simply as an EP, is a music collection that has more music than a single does, but does not have as many tracks as you would get from an LP or an album. For the most part, these are around 4 songs long or a maximum of 25 minutes. You can release many different double EPs instead of an album or LP if you want to. These are also not often sold in stores.


Long Play, also known as an LP, can actually be considered an album release as these are both similar in length. At minimum, LPs will have 10 songs or 40 minutes of music. These are often found in a vinyl format rather than a CD form.


These are the common formats that you can release your music in. It is important to know these different options so that you know what will work best for the music you want to release. If you only have a song or two that you want to release, you can use a single for you to get your music out to the public. This can be a very important decision for you to make when releasing your albums.



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