I spent half my adolescent Saturdays stressing over the track listings and cover art for the eight million or so mix tapes I made for people in middle school. I mean, giving someone a mix tape was the real deal. Many, many true loves, lifelong friendships, and road trips surely started over scratchy, half-taped-over 10,000 Maniacs and Tears for Fears tunes.
Mix CDs never had the same clout. They always felt too polished, too sterile, too easy, even.
That's why I'm totally jazzed about Turntable Lab's USB Mixtape. It's a 64 MB USB drive disguised as a particularly monochromatic, '80s-looking tape (the storage space equals that of an actual tape, according to Turntable Lab's site). Ingenious! You get the sound quality of MP3's and the organic, hipster goodness of a classic cassette. Hey, why not spend your adult Saturdays sketching trees and creating collages for the covers? Yep, I'm that cool.