Friday, November 21, 2008

What Will They Think Of Next?: Bring Back the Mix Tape

Anyone who grew up in the '80s or early '90s will have given a girlfriend/boyfriend, potential love interest, friend, or family member that popular gift of a "mixed tape". Yes, before the CD, and then the downloadable MP3 format became popular, the cassette tape was king. People popped them into this cool device called a Walkman, listened to tunes blasting from a square-shaped player hoisted atop their shoulder, and flipped them from side A to side B to get a whole new listing of songs (accessed only by a tedious manual fast forward/rewind process: no song skip with these babies!) Today, about two decades later, a company called fi-hi aims to bring this format back, but with a modern twist.

Called the usB-Side Mix'D Tape, the device is designed to look exactly like a cassette tape. But there's a secret: it's actually a USB flash drive, with a connector that flip-outs from its side. Then, just connect it to your PC and load up all your digital files, including music, as well as documents, videos, or images onto the gadget's 512 MB of internal memory. Now you have a nostalgic "mixed tape" for your love; and you can even add your own personal touch via the two included labels.

Aside from the mixed tape, the device can obviously also be used for sharing other data, or for transferring files back and forth. The inconspicious tapes are also great for storing or backing up sensitive data. A thief might grab USB drives, CDs, and your PC, but whose going to swipe your old tapes and 8-tracks?

Business persons might also find good use for these stand-out flash drives. They can contain promotional materials for distribution (in the same way many companies already use standard-designed USB keys); press kits, or flyers.

The "tapes" work with either PC or Mac, and come with their own little gift box for US$15 ea. at I must say it's a pretty cool idea, and will certainly be a conversation-starter for anyone who receives them. But buyer beware: in case you didn't realize, they won't actually play in old cassette players!

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Lee_D said...

That's hilarious!

In fact, that's even more retro than that brand of CD-R that looks like a vinyl record on the top surface of the disc.

Cremps said...

I love the idea - but 512 MB? Really? That's not enough memory for any practical storage.

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Hi Cremps,

If you think from a business perspective, 512MB can certainly hold relevant press or brochure materials (a few documents, photos, or perhaps a slideshow or two). But even from a consumer perspective, if you're backing up things like Microsoft Word documents, spreadsheets, or even individual photo albums, 512 MB is plenty.