It never happened to me, as home-schoolers don’t usually have boyfriends in junior high, (ok, not until college for some of us). But I’ve seen it happen plenty of times in movies, and I think it’s pretty much the most romantic thing ever. As a sign of affection, 14 year-old Jimmy spends six hours alone in his room on a weekend evening going through his extensive collection of old vinyl’s, laboriously compiling a list of his favorite songs, and on Monday morning presents his crush with a mixed tape he made specifically for her.
Apparently I’m not the only person waxing nostalgic over the idea of mixed tapes: Muxtape is a web application that allows users to create and share personal MP3 playlists. The interface is simple, and the site centers only around the music, avoiding album or band graphics, effectively recalling an era when the only labeling was hand written in pen, on one of those thin labels that came with your set of 20 cassettes that you had to peel off. Muxtapestumbler allows you to search for your favorite bands among user’s playlists.
Another thing I’ve noticed about someone’s personalized playlist is what it reveals about his or her taste and personality. A quick scan of their song selection might make you generally impressed by the inclusion of Radiohead and Beck, nicely surprised by the nod to a local Indie success like Cold War Kids or Autolux, and then you see it: “Inside Your Heaven” by Carrie Underwood. It’s like one bug in a bag of flour: it’s all ruined. Playlists are kind of like politics: one wrong move and all trust is lost.
If playlists are like politics, some users are like sarcastic comedians, making fun of the people who take themselves too seriously. Just check out the catbird mix and you’ll see what I mean. And definitely do it at work, while trying not to laugh. I dare you.
So far the only problem with the site is recent hosting issues; the site has been down a lot recently. We hope it clears up soon!