Monday, April 28, 2008

Mix-Tape Memories in SF Chronicle

Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle "pink section" had a great cover story about mix tapes, celebrating their special qualities and lamenting their demise. They shared some touching and funny stories from people who had particularly interesting mix tape tales. According to the article by Peter Hartlaub:

"Music compilations are more popular than ever, in part because of the ease of getting the songs you want to the people you care about. On your own or with sites such as, you can click a mouse 20 or 30 times and create and share your audio files with whomever you want. But as the process gets easier, the gesture becomes emptier as well."

It's a great point about the amount of labor and care that was required to craft a cassette mix tape in real time using old school audio equipment, like turntables and cassette decks (and even radios!). Peter Hartlaub writes:

"The biggest advantage of making a mix cassette tape was that it almost always forced the creator to hear each song. Using your computer to create mix CDs without listening to the music is like grabbing five random items at the grocery store...

There's a merit to picking a bunch of your favorite songs for a friend to listen to, but if you really want to impress or seduce, those songs need to tell a story. And the best way to do that has always been a mix tape."

To see a bunch of personal mix-tape tales, see this accompanying SF Chronicle article and to contribute your own story, visit their hilarious parenting blog The Poop.

Do you have any interesting tales from the mix tape era? Is the nostalgia justified, or can mp3 mixes be just as personal?

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