Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why we should all keep the mix tape alive

If you're a product of the 80's or even most of the 90's you should be familiar with the concept of the mix tape. But for those who are unfamiliar, a quick rundown: a mix tape is an audio cassette filled with music from a variety of artists chosen by the mix tape maker for the mix tape listener.

As we've abandoned the audio cassette for the CD and now the CD for the mp3, we've started to lose the wonderful benefit of the mix tape. It's a way of introducing someone else to new music that you like. I'm sure some of you out there are thinking "this is what Pandora is for," but you'd be wrong.

The mix tape has a unique property. Things like Pandora try to find you new music that you like, but it's based on music you already know you like. The mix tape is hand-picked by someone else with no guarantee that the intent is to bring you music you like. They can often be filled with music you just don't care for, but that's the beauty! Say you give it a listen and you find yourself annoyed by the music, but then you think, "golly, my friend couldn't have that poor taste in music, I'll try it again." Perhaps this time you find yourself nodding your head to a couple of songs. Intrigued, you give it another listen. And another. And eventually you've realized that you like some of the music.

So now you think, "hey, if I like their music, maybe they'll like mine!" Now you get the wonderful chance to do something different with your music. Instead of just putting on any old album, or letting your computer shuffle things for you, you're now an active participant in your music collection. Now you're going over all of your tracks searching, listening, thinking, trying to find the perfect match. When you're done not only have you created a great new mix for your friend, but you've taken the time to appreciate the music you've got.

When all is said and done, two people have not only introduced each other to new music, but they've re-introduced themselves to their own music.

Whether it's on a cassette, CD, or flash drive, give a mix tape to a friend, and keep alive this wonderful experience.

1 comment:

Debra Fiterman said...

this makes me happy.