A couple months ago I ran two quick polls about mix tapes. I asked because I had an idea for a related web-based service. I won’t get around to creating it, so I figured I’d send it out into the universe.
It’s a simple concept. Your mix tapes are beloved artifacts of our youth. As we get older, they decay and we lose the ability to easily listen to them.
You sign up for my service, and we send you a prepaid mailing box. You put your mix tapes in a box, and send them off. They go to India or China, where each mix tape is converted in MP3 files. Importantly, you can get the files in a variation of forms:
- Each side of the mix tape as a single MP3 file, retaining the organization of the songs, and any between-song commentary.
- Individual MP3 files
- A CD
The service doesn’t replace the recordings with ‘clean’, digital recordings of the songs. It just converts the version you own to an audio file. I think this is important, as the crappy recordings, pops and scratches are part of nostalgic remembrance of the mix tape.
The service also scans the cassette sleeve, and sends you a high-res version of that. Plus, of course, you get all your original cassettes back.
There are probably lots of audio conversion services out there, but I’d position this one specifically (and only) for mix tapes.
I actually think there’s a market for this–it could become a sort of hobby business for somebody. My ad hoc survey found that 64% of respondents owned at least one mix tape, and 56% of those said they were ‘precious momentos’. That’s radically insufficient as market research, but an encouraging result nonetheless. What do you think?
I was reminded about this idea by the lovely Cassette from my Ex, which I just discovered. Totally subscribed. And I’m going to submit one, when I get the chance.
It’d be appropriate to end with a mix tape of my own. The following is a few songs from, to my memory, one of the first mix tapes I ever made. The source? My father’s extensive (and rocking) record collection.