Apple has filed a patent to revive the much-loved mixtape in a digital version. The Apple version could be created in iTunes and also include photos, messages, artwork and video.
Before streaming music, before iTunes, before CD burning, before even CDs at all, there was the mixtape. A mixtape generally consisted of a compilation of songs recorded by the creator on a cassette tape and ordered and chosen in a way that would make a creative statement. It could be a mix of all of two friends' songs from a certain summer, a mix of favorite party hits to dance to or a romantic love letter to one's significant other (or potential significant other).
With the advent of much higher digital quality CDs and CD burning, the mixtape, and cassettes in general, were considered an inferior and antiquated way to listen to music. Music lovers could now easily burn compilations of songs on CD via their computer or the popular dual-tray CD burners, and although the idea behind the mixtape was still alive through these forms, much of the essence was lost.
One reason for that was that, in gifting a burned CD or digital playlist, the recipient was automatically privy to the full list of songs, ruining the surprise and the experience of discovery when listening. Now, it has been revealed that Apple has filed a provisional patent to revive the mixtape in digital form, allowing the creator to hide the song names until they are played and also to further personalize each tune with accompanying photographs, video, messages and artwork of their choosing.
Apple's patent application states: "the digital age has lost some of the personalization that was available during the analog age. For example, the creation and gifting of a cassette mixed tape was a popular activity between two parties. The compilation of songs would be recorded on a cassette tape and given to another on a special occasion such as a birthday or on Valentine's Day."
The application also points out that the artists were never properly compensated for the tracks used when creating and gifting a mixtape to another, something Apple will be happy to correct since, in its new version, all material in the mixtape will have to be legally purchased from the company.