Introduction: Play-doh Mixtape

Miss the old days of physical media? Me too. But the digital age makes it possible to store your musical bits in almost anything, which has its advantages!

This idea is quite simple: Make a collection of your favorite tunes using whatever software you like. Then stick them on a cheap USB stick. Then squish the cheap USB stick into some play-doh, and mix in your own bits of style, kind of like us geezers did back in the day when decorating the mix-tapes of yore. Present to your intended recipient, and explain that to get the music, they'll have to do a wee bit of play-doh archaeology.

Some notes based on my experience making mixtape Xmas presents for the family:

- I like to encode music in FLAC, because it sounds better and cause I don't like the man all up in my music storage formats. But unless your mixtape recipient is also a nerd like that, you'll just have to accept that MP3 is what most people can read. At least make them 320kbps.

- You'll want to include meta data and a playlist so that once your recipient copies the files to their machine, their music software will remember that they're actually part of a mix  with a title and a specific order. Most music players can export a playlist (like an .m3u file). If you want to be thorough, you can use something like MusicBrainz picard to re-tag the songs as part of your mixtape collection.