Monday, July 30, 2012

The MakerBot Mixtape takes us back to the days of cassette tape mash-ups

The mixtape is back, in a manner of speaking.

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Those who are old enough might remember the days of creating an audio tape of a mash-up of songs, to give to say, your significant other. In those days, it was definitely a labor of love, as unless you had a dual cassette system, you might even play a tape on one player and then record it through the microphone of another player.

Indeed, not the best way to transfer songs in terms of audio quality, but what mattered is that it worked.

Of course, these days, all you need to do is take some software, your favorite MP3s (or AACs, for you iTunes fans) and a CD and burn a mixCD. Heck, you can just ZIP a bunch of MP3s together and call it a day. You can even print an image on the optical disc, instead of having to find something you can cut out or even draw for the cassette case insert.

It's a lot less romantic.

MakerBot has come up with a "fix" for that: the MakerBot Mixtape. It's an MP3 player that looks like a cassette tape, has a rechargeable battery that lasts four hours, 2 GB of storage, and naturally can connect to your PC with a USB cable and has a headset jack.

“A long time ago, before Pandora or RDIO or even ancient technologies like iTunes, there was the mixtape — a carefully selected group of songs, organized into a playlist and recorded onto a cassette. You had to get these songs from other tapes or even record them from the radio. You had to have a machine that allowed for transferring songs from one tape to another tape. The whole process took planning… and patience. But the payoff was oh so sweet. The MakerBot Applications team, our division of makers and designers, have figured out a way to bring this magic back to life — with a modern twist — and make it 3D-printed, too.”

You can either have them ship it to you pre-assembled, or if you have your own MakerBot, you can build your own from a kit.

If you still don't get it, MakerBot has a video (embedded). It's $25 as a kit, or $39 assembled.

The MakerBot Mixtape brings us back to those days of our favorite mixtape FUBAR, from "Friends." This time, we figure you'll get it right.

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