The death of the mixtape

Are Spotify and Deezer responsible for the untimely demise of the mixtape?
The death of the mixtape

Will the immortal words “I made you a mixtape” ever be muttered again?

Before the advent of streaming services and file sharing sites, there used to be a hopeless romanticism attached to making someone a mixtape.

Mixtape-giving could be nothing more than sharing some awesome new music with a mate, but more often than not, it was for someone you fancied.

What changed?

Crafting a playlist these days is a piece of cake - a couple of drags and drops and you’re golden. There’s also no limit to the amount of music you can stuff into a playlist. Where there was once a disciplined selection process behind choosing 15 tracks that really meant something, now you can throw together any songs that pop into your head.

On the flipside, there’s no longer the danger of CD scratches, tangled tapes, or worse - un-rewound cassettes. The biggest problem you have to face these days is a dropped internet connection, and even that can be avoided by downloading your playlists from Spotify, making them available offline.

If you want to polish your Spotify game, check out our top tips.

What will the future hold?

It seems we’re not the only ones missing the mixtape, as a recently filed patent from Apple describes tapping back into the nostalgia of swapping analogue cassette tapes.

AppleInsider has reported on the patent called ‘Digital mixed tapes’, in which users will be able to purchase personalised albums from cloud-based services, and gift music to each other. Of course the key difference is that we still won’t be physically exchanging music.

The system describes a ‘drag and drop’ type technology, which will be familiar to anyone who’s used a computer before. So what makes this difference from just putting together a playlist? Good question.

There will allegedly be more personalisation available to gifted album. AppleInsider’s Mikey Campbell reports: “Beyond the usual track list options, gift givers might want to restrict a recipient's ability to fast forward or skip songs. Apple's system even allows for song titles to be revealed one at a time as they are played.”

There will also presumably be the option to add, or maybe record, personal messages within the gifted mixtapes.

Other systems like Tapely offer similar services currently, but with the backing of iTunes’ colossal music catalogue, and Apple’s shiny marketing, the now patented platform would be unrivalled.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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