BurnLists: The Digital "Mix Tape" Comes Of Age

The original "mix tapes" were bootleg 8-tracks that were largely found for sale at truck stops and flea markets in the 1960s. The 1970s saw a move to compiling songs in a specific order on cassette tapes, which required almost the same amount of devotion as it takes work through some MBA programs. Since then mixtapes have moved to largely shared MP3 playlists which require minutes (as opposed to hours) to prepare and can hold many more songs. Many of the new Internet-based radio stations such as Pandora and MOG allow you to create your own playlists from millions of songs.

Editors Note: Following is an excerpt from a great article on the "mix tape" by Michael Resnick, published by BurnLounge for its music retailers. For more about BurnLounge, click here.

"...With the CD revolution in the near past and the digital revolution at hand, our music collections exist increasingly on hard drives, computer software, and mp3 players, while vinyl and CDs collect dust in the attic. Simultaneously, the 'mix tape' has gone digital, the medium for which it seems it was always meant.

"Making a mix [a collection of recordings from a number of different sources] no longer involves syncing up two tape decks or waiting all day with your finger on the record button for the radio to play that perfect song; the digital mix tape exists on BurnLounge through BurnLists, made with a few clicks of the mouse.

"BurnLists are inherently temporary, easy to create and easy to erase. However, they can also be immortal and evolving. They do not have to be finalized, recorded onto a tape or burned to a disc, so they remain malleable. BurnLists can be refined, songs can be added or deleted with a few keystrokes, all the while forming 'The Greatest Mix in the World.' BurnLists can be changed over time, or even made into a mini-brand, released in installments ("Party Mix Vol.1, Vol. 2.," etc.)...

"Geoffrey O'Brien, editor-in-chief of the Library of America, once called mix tapes 'the most widely practiced American art form.' With the arrival of the digital revolution, O'Brien's words seem truer than ever."

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