Monday, January 11, 2010

playlists vs. mixes

as time passes i am less tolerant to the phrase "you know what i mean".

assuming to know what someone means is a risk, and old people are more risk adverse because they have learned that not every risk is backed by a reward of equal or greater magnitude. even as i puke these sentences into this blog post people will read this and see what i wrote, but in turn assume what i mean. that is unless i explicitly write exactly what it is that i mean.

what do i mean? what am i trying to say? que up the high-entropy mixtape rant!

mixtapes are a thing of the past. tape is an outdated technology for end users, therefore mixtape is an outdated term. therefore most people have dropped the word tape and simply use the word "mix".

personally i have confusion when someone references a "mix".

"do you have that mix that i gave you?"
"is this your bedroom mix?"
"i made my girlfriend a mix for our anniversary"

in my experience these sentences reference a playlist, they do not refer to a mix.

a playlist is a collection of songs. often the playlist contains various artists, songs form different albums, multiple genres, etc. i can see how the word 'mix' can somewhat represent this, because elements of the collection of songs are a 'mixed' bag.

however, as the products of standardized testing that we all are, we need the word that is best used to describe what this is, not a word that does a pretty good job. if the SAT test doesn't give any credit for pretty good answers, neither should i right?

a mix is when the songs of a playlist are blended together. this requires the songs to be beat-matched, adjacent songs overlap ending and beginning. of course there are exceptions to this generalization as music is art and art doesn't have hard fast boundaries, but 99 times out of 100 a mix is when songs are mixed.

why is this important to me? because i've created playlists as well as mixes. it is undeniable that a mix requires more efforts than a playlist. i've made awesome playlists in minutes, it's near impossible to make an awesome mix in minutes. in fact it's near impossible to even make a crappy mix in minutes.

i'm not bagging on playlists. a decent playlist usually has plenty of time and energy devoted to it by the creator to determine the order, the flow, the entire experience. some playlist creators even have rules that are strictly followed when composing the song order.

just don't call it a mix.


Bookgirl said...

and i like a well-crafted rant as well! your point is well taken, although "mix" feels more old schooly and real whereas a "playlist" is something a computer can generate without your input. thus the dilemma.

mixmaster lilly ;)

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