Is The Mix Tape Dead Or Thriving?

from the I-vote-for-thriving dept

A little point-counterpoint over at Salon looking into the issue of whether or not the ease of burning CDs or using MP3 players has killed the mix tape. The argument is that making a mix tape needs to be a careful process, done thoughtfully, listening to the entire thing as it goes, and making sure everything fits. Now, people just throw a random playlist together and burn it to a CD or throw it on an iPod for random listening. The counterpoint, however, points out how much nicer this makes life for most of us. Sure, not all mixes will be as carefully done, but in opening up possibilities and making it easier for more people to experiment with their creativity, a lot more is possible. As the writer points out, if you don’t like the ease with which people now make mixes, you’re free to go back to making the mixes by hand, painstakingly going through the process of rewinding tapes and changing levels.

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Comments on “Is The Mix Tape Dead Or Thriving?”

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Chris ODonnell (user link) says:

No Subject Given

I think what is missing from the mix tape days is the therapuetic effect of the process. Mix tapes took time, because you did it in real time. You sat around, reading the liner notes and album covers, comtemplating the next song, thinking about how much you hate the girl that just dumped you and how this tape of violent songs is dedicated to her, etc.

Holding the Ctrl key while you click 15 song selections, then clicking the burn key, just isn’t the same.

ScooterBoy says:

mix tapes : relationships

right after college, i was dating this girl.. i made her a mix tape.. relationship lasted 3 years.

i made the next girlfriend a mix cd.. relationship lasted 1 year.

and.. the last one.. i made the girl a cd with a bunch of mp3s on it.. not even a month, and i was single again.


i’m ready to make a mix right now, from records onto a reel-to-reel… i’m ready to meet “the one”.

m.hardie says:

yesterday's mix tape = today's playlist

I remember the mix tape service I subscribed to in Boston several years back. The best part was the smooth transitions between songs and the exposure to new artists and musical styles. The person who made the tapes was a well known professional DJ in and around Boston.

I have an iPod and many friends have MP3 players. We exchange playlists all the time. Even iTunes offers celebrity playlists you can buy. So the mix tape hasn’t gone away, just morphed into a more flexible digital alternative. Perhaps the song transitions aren’t quite as smooth as my old tape service. But that issue might be solved using software. If you want that true club DJ non-stop segue between songs, find a DJ and ask for or buy his playlists.

If anything, MP3 playlists make it easy for just about anybody to put a mix together. Drag and drop has replaced pause, rewind, record, repeat.

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