Spotify – mixer tapes made easy

Last Friday I spotted a tweet by Sally Whittle about a Spotify playlist she had created. I fancied some music to fill my afternoon and I was curious to see if I could get this whole sharing playlist thingamajig to work. Well I did and its brilliant! And Sally’s playlist was tops too :-) So I had a try myself and it was great fun. Sally has subsequently started a playlist meme and this has been continued by Jed.

Following my post last week about Twitter being fan mail for the 21st century this got me thinking how much easier creating this playlist and sharing it was than when I was a teenager.

Creating mixer tapes was an art and one that took a lot of time and effort. Every track had to be recorded from source (records in the main for me!) to the tape. So creating a 20 track playlist like mine cost money (the tape) and took around three to four hours allowing time for selection and recording. Remember you had to work out the order first, no ability to just move things around on a screen. Oh and I also had to own all the music!

Whereas on Friday it took me about 10 minutes and cost me nothing and I had the entire Spotify catalogue to choose from. True a few of the tracks I thought of using weren’t there but given that new ones are being added all the time this will get better and better I suspect.

I once had to create a five hour series of tapes for an 18th birthday party for a friend of mine. Took me an entire day. Would have taken about an hour I reckon on Spotify!

I realise that this isn’t really new in that the ability to create playlists from digital content speeded up the process a long time ago and that if you aren’t too worried about the legal issues you don’t need to “own” all the content. However the key differences with Spotify are first of all it is legal and second it is the ability to share your playlists so easily and so widely.

However the slight downside of this is that making a tape back in the day was such an investment of time it was a way of demonstrating how you felt about that special someone :-) Plus it couldn’t be shared very easily – yes you could copy it but it took time – so it was likely to remain personal to them. Post Spotify I suppose there is a danger that creating such playlists is now no different to a quick visit to the petrol station to buy a bunch of flowers when you’ve forgetten someone’s birthday!

Anyway it’s still bloomin’ great and though I haven’t been formally tagged in this meme I am going to be cheeky and join in so I tag Stephen, Mat and Shannon. Look forward to a lot of great tunes.