I’m a big fan of the mix tape. As a teenager in the late 80s early 90s I didn’t really partake in the art – we mainly just taped whole albums. My first experience of mixed tapes was when a girl I knew after I’d left high school gave me her carefully selected music picks. At first I wasn’t *THAT* impressed with it, I didn’t know many of the bands, it had an odd humour about it and was a mishmash of styles. She had put country rock band Camper Van Beethovan singing “When I win the Lottery” and The Dream Warriors rapping “You wash your face in my sink”. But I kept going back to the tape and listening to it again and again.

Now I find my musical taste is very similar to that mishmashed mix tape. On any one day you can catch me listening to The Beatles, Linkin Park, Craig David, The Dandy Warhols and 50 Cent. I can’t entirely credit that one tape with my diverse listening tastes, but I can blame it for my affection for making mixed cds for others. Not all of the hours spent carefully crafting your choices and order of songs create an ultimate mix however. Sometimes they can fall flat. I usually find the songs I pick to introduce someone to a new style don’t go down very well. My most successful mixed cd ended up being a selection of songs I played over and over on the ipod because I loved them so much.

Obviously I’m not the only person in the world who is addicted to this sort of thing. In fact there are numerous sites that glorify this everyday talent. Art of the Mix is my personal favourite. It has a large group of users who comment on your mix and you can submit your own album covers and everything. They also seem to do a swap situation where you can send them a cd and they’ll send you one back of their own mix.

If you use itunes there is a cool site for making playlists that may end up as mixed cds. It adds an element of randomness to your listening as well. Smartplaylists.com relies on you to be a little bit anal about your mp3 tagging and ratings, but the effort you put in to it certainly pays off. Now you can listen to your 5 star rated songs that you haven’t heard in over a month. Wow, automation is grand. 🙂

Someone who obviously loves music and writes an excellent blog is Troubled Diva. He often posts lists of his favourite music and recently asked for his readers to submit their choice for “songs you have to hear“. The results were very interesting.

So, if you’re bored, have nothing to do, and a cd burner ready to go.. why not take up the mixed cd challenge and share your musical joy!



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