A new Aussie start-up is attempting to resurrect the physical mix tape for the digital age. ShareTapes are NFC-enabled plastic cards that let you 'record' music and video from media streaming services like YouTube, 8tracks and Spotify. Your mix tape playlist can then be accessed via most tablets and smartphones. This time, UB40 tracks will be optional.
Sharetapes are being touted as a marketing opportunity for bands, videographers and designers as well as a new way for insufferable hipsters to share music with their friends. The 'tapes' are created by copying and pasting your playlist URL into the ShareTapes website, along with the card's unique code.
You can then send the tapes off to friends or prospective gig operators, who can access the music using their smartphone's NFC chip or the included QR code.
You can also order tapes with customised prints which might sound silly — but if you're promoting your own music, it's actually a smart way to stand out from the crowd; especially when chasing gigs and radio airtime.
The main drawback is that the tape's recipient will need to have the corresponding playlist app on their phone for certain services, like Spotify. (On the plus side, the tapes are compatible with most web-based media sharing platforms.)