Click. Hiss.

Fade out.





Oh bugger, that was longer than 45 minutes. Creating a mixtape was - and still is - an artform. You had to be quick on the pause and stop buttons and be able to work out if adding that extra Belle and Sebastian track would take you over 45 minutes on side A.

Then there was the hours of agonising over the exact tracklisting and order, as the tape not only showcased your impeccable musical taste but also would be baring your soul to the woman you loved. Mix tapes were nearly always made with seducing a woman in mind. They very rarely succeeded. There are probably a good number of girls from Exeter and the surrounding area who still have a an old C90 complete with a rare Sneaker Pimps remix or a Lewis Taylor B-side kicking about at the back of a drawer.

God, I loved mixtapes. I used to record every new entry off the Top 40 on a religious basis, then make a further tape to discard the songs I didn't like. It's a good job I didn't have access to a large scale CD production factory otherwise the Now That's What I Call Music series would have been in serious trouble.

But while today's modern music downloading tools, MySpace music, and iPods are fantastic, there's still a part of me that hankers after the mixtape compiling. Making a compilation CD just isn't the same. Drag, drop, set to record and go off and make a cup of tea, or whatever. Dull.

But with the internet, and retro loves, it was inevitable something like MixWit would crop up. Ok, so it's still a drag and drop into a playlist. And there's no physical product at the end of it. But you can custom-make your own C60. And when you play it, the cassette reel graphic goes round. What's not to love?

I may be a little to excited by these kind of things. I may also need to get out more.

The only thing missing is the player behaving genuinely like a C60 and cutting out halfway through a song after 30 minutes.

I'm eternally grateful to Lolly from Blog Til You Drop for Tweeting about the site. My work colleagues, who've already been on the receiving end of several Mixwit emails may be less grateful. But it does mean I can introduce them to Los Campesinos! and remind them of what a great track Cake's The Distance is.

There's plenty of embeddable and sharing options, so here's one I created today. The full title is 'It's Friday afternoon, I have lots of work to do but I really want the weekend to fast forward by a few hours. In lieu of that, I'll make a mixtape that has The Pixes in it'.

It's rather catchy don't you think? Enjoy!

[mixwit_mixtape wid="509fb54219286446b918f7b608e06f30" pid="842731fc3d9b26aecb51d8df5a26ccb3" un="garyllewellynandrews" width="426" height="327" center="true"]

PS Apologies, I can't work out how to get rid of the random bit of code above. It doesn't appear in my post editor.

PPS The absolute King of Mixtapes (and compilation CDs for that matter) is John Widdop. No matter how bizarre the theme, he can always produce an impeccable set of songs and has a vast, encylopedic knowledge of music. Why he's not been offered a writing job with a music publication is beyond me.