TechnologyTell

The MakerBot Mixtape: Re-kindling an Antiquated Courting Style

Sections: Audio, Gadgets / Other, Portable Audio

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The folks over at MakerBot Industries have been setting the ‘tone’ in the 3D-printing world since their inception just a few years ago. Innovative, talented and kitschy, the NYC-based small company creates MakerBot printers, which allow users to assemble and begin object-printing at home.

While understanding that this technology is not a necessity for all people, the company has since branched out, selling related knick-knacks and practical toys, gadgets and electronic items; which are created using their duplication technology. Their newest creation, the MakerBot Mixtape is delightfully nostalgic and quite appealing — an awesome gadget for any music fan on the go.

The MakerBot Industries’ modest hipster (not pejoratively used) crew of engineers and designers have come up with a clever spin on the classic mix-tape. This USB mp3-player holds 2GB of storage and includes 3 buttons (play/pause, skip forward, skip backward, equalizer and reset) and a standard headphone input jack. The best part is the tape-cassette replica casing that holds it all together.

As a bit of an analog-purist myself, I’ll forever hold a very special space in my heart for the mixtape.
I’ll never forget how crucial they were for me during some of my earliest ‘flings’ and significant relationships (a classic gift-giving opportunity that I still practice.)

A mixtape represents love, flirtation, appreciation; its a means of expressing one’s musical tastes while potentially ‘hipping’ a special somebody to a new favorite song or artist. If you play your cards right, the special somebody falls in love with your mix album, thinks of you each time they listen to it and then those songs become ‘your (meaning both of yours) songs.’ It seems about as old-fashioned as ‘pinning,’ right? But I mean, what’s more romantic than a mix tape, ladies?

And I can’t even begin to list all of my favorite recording artists that I discovered through listening to the mixes that were gifted to me from fellow music junkies throughout the years. We would feverishly ‘catch’ songs off the radio or via cassette albums — sometimes anticipating for hours to hear that opening drum-fill or guitar-riff before diving across the room to hit those ‘record’ and ‘play’ buttons.

To me, this device not only has credibility because it’s retro in appearance but because it’s old-school in thought. Music today exists as a compiled list on a user’s desktop; Apple iTunes has revolutionized the record bin (or even the CD booklet, for heaven’s sakes) and with these changes, the methods of attaining, collecting and being exposed to music has changed.

Having said that, the idea of a ‘mix’ is illustrated nowadays by a digital ‘playlist,’ or by means of podcasts, I suppose. The MakerBot Mixtape brings its back to the way it used to be — the golden age of music sharing.

Also, the holidays are approaching and here’s a personalized gift idea, showing that extra-effort put forth. Cheers!

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