My in-laws were just here for a visit and among the gifts they left behind for D1 who turns seven tomorrow, was an original iPod shuffle. It is even pre-loaded with some music. As D1 and D2 are prone to heated discussions about pretty well anything Laura said they could share it. The extra good news for them is that I also have an old iPod shuffle hanging around and available for use. So now D1 and D2 both have an iPod. As such the real work has now begun.
Now we have to load songs on to the computer that they want to have on their iPods. It is like the good old days of making mix tapes.
Like many of my generation I was a master mix taper. I put hours of thought and planning into the mix tapes that I made. I perfected my precision recording skills when grabbing songs from the radio that I wanted for my tapes. I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom with my ghetto blaster carefully lining up the spaces between the songs before hitting record to ensure that there was an appropriate amount of space between each song.
I mostly made tapes for driving, although I did make a special edition set of six tapes for the four months I spent backpacking around Britain after high school. Those ones were played over and over again on my yellow walkman.
I drove thousands of kilometres in my mum’s old Honda Accord throughout Ontario and Quebec. I drove logging roads to plant trees and I drove back and forth across Ontario. I ferried people and stuff all over the place and in the process I wore out my mix tapes and made new ones. I even managed to damage my hearing listening to mix tapes. I have noticeable hearing loss in my right ear because it was the ear inside the car while I drove with the window down and the music loud enough to hear over the sound of the wind. I typically had a pretty solid tan on my left arm for the same reasons – well not because of the music volume, but the summer driving with one window down.
Mix tapes were an opportunity to share our music with friends and express our musical tastes. We could make eclectic mixes that captures a variety of music tastes or tapes comprised entirely of one artist, but a mix of songs from different albums. The tapes we gave to others had liner notes that were almost as important as the music itself. It was and early social medium.
Laura tried to make me a mixed iPod a couple of years ago, but the challenge is that you don’t necessarily get to control the order of the songs and that was the most important aspect of making a mix tape for someone else. Of course we can make them with CD’s these days, although it somehow doesn’t feel the same. Julia gives some good guidance here on making a CD mix-tape and album cover.
All that said, helping the girls pick songs for their new to them iPods was fun and an opportunity to expose them to more of my music and test out their musical tastes. Now they are wearing them and singing along out loud so it is a bit like living in a karaoke bar. That is a whole other blog post…