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Blast from the Past – Apple Bringing Back Mix Tapes!


At the very outset, we’d like to introduce our young readers to (what under god’s holy earth is a freaking) mixtape? But before we elaborate on mixtapes, children, we’ll have to tell you audio tapes.

Audio tapes (or cassettes) are little plastic thingies that have long magnetic tapes inside them. They were used to record and play music in the twentieth century and if you look through your grandparents’ possessions, you’re bound to come across something that looks like this:

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That’s an audio tape.

Moving on, “Mixtapes” became a rage when people realised that they can mix songs from different albums and record them onto a single cassette, making them highly personalized gifts.

Your song list could convey a mood or feelings that you were too shy to express aloud. Remember this was before the days of Tinder and Snapchat, and modesty was still highly valued. Young lovers throughout the 80s and the 90s fawned over each other with these tokens of affection.

Remember this cute little scene from Hunterrr?

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But hold on a sec. Why are we telling you all this, right?

Well, because Apple is bringing back mixtapes!

“Apple filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Thursday for a new feature in Apple Music which would allow users to gift personalized albums to one another,” reported Business Insider.

However, there’s a slight twist. Given that most people nowadays don’t have a cassette player anymore, sending physical tapes would be practically useless. Hence, the patent by Apple is for an iTunes feature that enables the making of digital mixtapes.

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This image from the patent application shows clearly how users will be able to create a playlist right from their iPads or iPhones. You can see there are several customization options, which is to be expected since mixtapes have to be deeply personal to be effective.

For us — the kids who grew up during the 80s and the 90s — this is a really nostalgic topic, so obviously we are very excited. However, it’s only a patent and it’s a long way off from being a feature/product. And given that a majority of Apple’s patents ends up not getting converted into products and services, there’s a huge possibility that this idea might never see the light of day.

But we are optimistic creatures, with hope in our hearts and a song on our lips, and so we’ll let that asha ki kiran burn inside of us, and wait for Apple to make a formal announcement.

In the meantime, start making a list of songs that you’d wanna send to your crush. You know you’ll have to do it sooner or later. After all:

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