Add digital tracks to an analog cassette with Mixxtape [Sticky or Not]

You might not miss CDs and you might not miss cassettes, but you probably do miss mixtapes.

Mixtapes allowed us to share multiple music tracks in a curated, loving way that digital technology just hasn’t been able to replicate. Where’s the opportunity to customize album art or put your own unique flair into the track list and liner notes? And why isn’t it as socially acceptable to give a person a playlist for their birthday as it is to give a mixtape?

The Mixxtape, currently receiving funding on Kickstarter, merges the digital and analog worlds in order to offer us some of that mixtape magic. It’s a cassette tape gadget with a mini LCD display that takes memory cards (which are basically the closest things to the CDs and cassettes of the past) and plays music through 3.5mm HiFi output, Bluetooth (3.0 + EDR) and, naturally, cassette player. It also features a  USB 2.0 port to connect to a desktop for music transferring and charging.

The Mixxtape’s battery — which doesn’t appear to be removable — is 330mAh, promising up to 12 hours of playback. The Kickstarter pages also notes that the cassette supports a wide range of audio file formats including MP3, WAV, WMA and AAC.

The full retail price of the device is set at $80 USD (about $107 CAD), though currently the company is offering the device at half-off for $40 USD with an 8GB MicroSD card and Jewel Case — add $20 for Canadian purchases, bringing that to $60 CAD.

Verdict: Sticky! For some.

I find this concept very sticky — and before you call me out for being a hipster (which is a true fact), let me explain my interest. I have several less tech-inclined family members that always appreciated getting CD mixes as gifts, which eventually became a bit of a tradition. Since the world has moved away from CDs, there’s been no good way for me to give music mix gifts. With a Mixxtape, I can gift it once and send family members or friends memory card mixes anytime I feel like it.

This may be a niche demographic, but it seems the makers of Mixxtape know it, listing off uses including “a wedding day music keepsake” or “Valentine’s Day.” It’s a little kitschy, and very hipster, but it works for me.

At least at its currently lower price. At $80 USD, it may be just as effective to hack something together yourself.

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not. Sticky or Not began as a series on MobileSyrup’s Snapchat account in which Rose Behar analyzes new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad). Now the series has expanded to include articles, because who doesn’t love a quirky new gadget?