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I Like Apple’s New Mixtape Idea

Back in the era of cassettes, making a mixtape was a labour of love that required much time and thought. When all was said and done–selecting the music, recording it in real time, re-filing everything–it could take up to two hours to create a sixty minute mixtape. But when it was over, you had a masterpiece that could be enjoyed forever–or until you got tired of it and recorded over what you had done.

Apple remembers the emotional power a mixtape could carry, so much more than a simple digital playlist. This explains why a new patent–basically a mixtape creation tool within iTunes–filed this week seeks to recreate the mixtape vibe. Cult of Mac says the new patent would allow users to select the songs and their sequence and then augment everything with additional audio files, images, video and even personalized messages. And just like the old days, the creator would be able to hide the next song from the listener so that every track would come as a surprise.

Once you’re done, you’d digitally the mixtape the recipient (who’s on an iOS device, I assume) who would receive a notification. If they accept “yes,” the sender would be charged the cost of the tunes in the mixtape. If there’s a rejection, no one pays anything and the sender is left feeling lonely and sad and embarrassed.

Yes, Rdio, Spotify and others have always offered playlist sharing, but this is a slightly new twist on it. Let’s see if it amounts to something.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38324 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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