Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mixtape Evolution

I was going through some old boxes and found a stash of these old cassette tapes that I had put together at some distant past.  Judging from the songs I had selected, this was made sometime in the early 90s with Guns N Roses' "November Rain" kicking off Side A and The Cure's "Pictures of You" on Side B.  I, for one, do not miss the analog days when I had to copy each track carefully from CD to a cassette deck.  The time it took to make this mixtape was probably on the order of 3 or 4 hours, including typing up and printing a case cover.  The tape hiss, inherent in the medium was annoying at the time as it is today, when I played this tape.  At some point, I just expect the iron deposited on the tape itself to fall off and this tape will be lost for eternity.  Hey, everybody's got some aspect of their past that they're ashamed of, right?  Tracy Chapman, Ultravox and Echo and the Bunnymen in my mixtape are skeletons in my musical closet.
Fast forward to 2000 and making audio CD compilations was the norm.  I made a bunch of these discs and just stashed them in the car for road trips.  I played this one and it sounds just as good as the first time I made it.  Digital is perfect and repeatable, in the event I want to make another CD with the exact same songs in the same order.  I still make some comp CDs today just because I like the convenience of not having to think about what to play in the car.  Each CD took about 30 minutes to make and the hard part is actually marking up the CD with the artist/song selection.  (No Doubt, 2Pac and Ice Cube made my playlist back then but most definitely won't make it in today.  )
And the last evolution (at least the one I've embraced) is the Ipod playlist.  As "must have" for the daily commuter like me each playlist can be created and edited in seconds and adding to the list is as simple as holding down a button for a few seconds.  At work today, as I was listening to songs, I would do just that -- add it to the On-The-Go playlist with the push of a button.  What I added today?  Rage, Audioslave, Rise Against, Foo Fighters.  Ten years from now?  I'll probably still be listening to Rage consider I was listening to it 13 years ago.

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