My new toy – a cassette deck with a USB output – has me on a new project, digitizing cassettes so I can listen again to these long silent songs.
As a good little GTD girl, my next action was to collect and purge all the cassette tapes that are all around my house. With no working cassette player for several years, these have been collecting dust in various boxes, cassette holders, drawers and shelves. They are all together now and I actually got rid of about half for various reasons. Now, I have a big box just waiting for me to get to the next action – actually converting them to bits and bytes.
The purge process gave me a chance to go through, one by one, these little chunks of memories. So many of my tapes are mixtapes – those I made for others and those made for me. I had fun going through the gift ones and thinking of the folks who gave them to me (Reader One – Frat Rock mean anything to you?). I also enjoyed seeing the themes I had going – Songs to Drive To, Songs to Relax To, Girls with Guitars, etc. Not much has changed in my naming of Playlists in iTunes so I am consistent with that.
What is it about the mixtape that is so…..attractive? Evoking? Mysterious? Romantic? It has been called “the most widely practiced American art form”. The advent of the cassette did bring in the ability to create these custom sets of songs. I mean, do you remember any 8 track mix tapes. (Apparently, there are some, but I never saw or made one) so I guess that is when they took off.
The flexibility and power to take your music and selectively build something that represented a mood, an event, a theme is, well, mighty cool. It just plain feels good when you find the collection of songs that help express something you feel or want to feel.
Another power from the mixtape was their creation. They just took long time to make. Today, you can build a playlist and press burn pretty fast. Back in those moldy oldy cassette-y days, it took the time to find the song, put on the album or other cassette, press record at the right time and then wait for the song to play out in its entirety. Lots more time.
Of course, when I put together a playlist or mixCD, it still takes me time to plan the choices and the order, etc but, let’s face it, it really is a lot faster.
I do think, though, that there is a psychological attachment to that original mixtape for all of these reasons. And, you can continue to find that we hold on to that as much as possible. Just check out this new offering, the MIXA – a USB drive for your playlists.
Image from the Make a MIXA blog: http://www.makeamixa.com/blog/