Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Life Of A Mix Tape

As I have mentioned before, I am a musical whore.... I'll exchange mix tapes and cds with any willing participant. Over the years, my mix tapes have multiplied. The mix cd collection has grown so huge that it filled up an entire shelf in my record cabinet to the point that I had to move a few feet of records out to a closet.

So, a month ago, I decided to clean them out. I filled an entire garbage bag full of old mixes. Yes, an entire garbage bag. Things that hit the can included old cd club mixes, mixes from long lost friends, and hey-I-can-out-obscure-you mixes. I told some folks about this big purge. They looked at me in shock as if I had thrown away the family heirloom silver collection.

But really... how long is one supposed to hang onto these things? Mix tapes and CDs are like greeting cards or postcards: you keep the interesting or meaningful ones and toss the rest. Really. What am I supposed to do with a collection of unlistenable covers of Tori Amos songs? (Thank god I never got one like that.)

Recently, I got a mix in the mail from my cd club. There was no return address. I opened the package and removed the cd. Then, when I opened the cd case, a little slip of paper fell out.

This is what it said:
To improve playback in Itunes:
  • Insert CD
  • Right click first song and select "Get Info"
  • Click on the "Options" tab
  • Then make the following adjustments, hitting "Next" to move from one track to the next:
    • Track 1: Change "Stop Time" to 3:25
    • Track 2: Move "Volume Adjustment" to 100% and make "Stop Time" 6:02
    • Track 3: Change "Stop Time" to 5:00
    • Track 4: Change "Stop Time" to 3:35
    • and on and on and on for each track.

HOPE! I! DO! I have never in my life received a mix cd that came with instructions! And what tedious instructions. BLEAH!!! This mix not only didn't make it to the CD player, but it went straight into the trash. I didn't even read the track listing. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I believe that one should be able to just put a CD into a CD player and have music come out.... without having to send it out to be mastered and tracked. It's that simple.

What is your mix tape/mix cd shelf life? Do you hang onto them forever?


Marsosudiro said...

Gosh, I assume you at least gave them away, right?

I have a few mix tapes from the late '80s still sitting around. I never had that many to start with, so maybe it's not so strange that I haven't had the urge to purge.

"HOPE! I! DO!"

Hee -- I hear your voice saying this and it makes me laugh.

Charlotte said...

I've saved all the mix cassettes. But the mix cds are the ones that I tossed. But I did throw them away.

Heck, if I don't want to listen to them, who else is going to wanna listen to them>

Gye Greene said...

Oh, I'd take 'em. I'll listen to any album -- once. :)

Shelf life: I'd keep 'em forever. My musical tastes have changed enough over the last twenty years that I can't predict what I'll have new appreciation for - or regret dumping -- in another 20 years.

But, that's me. :)


Charlotte said...

I know what you mean, Gye. There is a fine line for me between keeping and dumping. But the mix cds got out of hand. And some of them I know I would never listen to again. Ever.

I have so little room for music and my cabinets are overflowing with music. Some just have to go.

Gye Greene said...

Totally fair enough. :)


armando said...

have you heard of muxtape yet?