A mixtape is a home-made compilation of music recorded in a specific order, traditionally onto a cassette tape, though later replaced by CD or MP3 playlist formats. The songs can be sequential, or by beatmatching the songs and creating overlaps, compilations may include a selection of favorite songs, or music linked by theme or mood, perhaps tailored to the tapes intended recipient. Writing in 2004, essayist Geoffrey OBrien called the mix tape perhaps the most widely practiced American art form. Homemade mix tapes became common in the 1980s, but improvements in fidelity finally allowed the cassette to become a major player. The growth of the mixtape was also encouraged by improved quality and increased popularity of audio players in car entertainment systems. These recordings tended to be of technical ability than home-made mixtapes. One 12 October 1974 article in Billboard Magazine reported, Tapes were originally dubbed by jockeys to serve as standbys for times when they did not have disco turntables to hand, the tapes represent each jockeys concept of programming, placing, and sequencing of record sides. The music is heard without interruption, one- to three-hour programs bring anywhere from $30 to $75 per tape, mostly reel-to-reel, but increasingly on cartridge and cassette. Club proprietors, as well as DJs, would often prepare such tapes for sale, throughout the 1980s, mixtapes were a highly visible element of youth culture. The high point of traditional culture was arguably the publication of Nick Hornbys novel High Fidelity in 1995. Some mix enthusiasts also appreciate the potential of the mix CD for extended, continuous mixes, MP3 players have further enhanced track accessibility, though ones without a screen defeat that purpose. Today, websites concerned with electronic music provide mixes in a digital format and these usually consist of recorded DJ sets of live, beat-matched mixes of songs, which are used by DJs seeking to demonstrate their mixing skills to an online audience. Some radio shows worldwide specialize in mix series, including The Breezeblock on BBC Radio 1, The Solid Steel Show, and Eddy Temple-Morris/The Remix on Xfm. Additionally, DJs such as Grandmaster Flash, DJ QBert, DJ Spooky, DJ Z-Trip or DJ Shadow, The Avalanches, and Rjd2 have gained fame for creating new songs by combining fragments of existing songs. This practice is derived from the use of song loops as musical backdrops for an MCs rhymes in hip hop music. Frank Creighton, a director of anti-copyright infringement efforts for the Recording Industry Association of America and this requires the mixtape creator to consider the transitions between songs, the effects caused by juxtaposing a soft song with a loud song, and the overall narrative arc of the entire tape. It also came with an actual CD featuring ten of the songs discussed in the text, many have been so widely distributed that the CDDB has logged and can identify ID3 tags when a disc mix tape is inserted into a PC. In hip hops earliest days, the music existed in live form, so performers music was spread via tapes of parties
A compact audio cassette mixtape with a handwritten label: "Funky Stuff"
An early pirated 8 track mixtape from 1974
The CD-R disc is currently the most common medium for homemade mixes