The Art Of The Mix Tape

03/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

It took hours to make: every free moment curled by the boombox, the local radio station's song-request line set to speed dial, the volume knob turned loud enough to hear, but quiet enough not to wake Mom and Dad. Then, finally, the master product: a flawless combination of Alanis Morissette, Nirvana and Boyz II Men--decorated, doodled on and packaged in that familiar square case--that would become the soundtrack to a fleeting eighth-grade romance.

Ah, the mix tape.

Read more of the Newsweek story...

To some, the mix tape is a cherished art form, the last bastion of a dying era. To others, the mix tape is a relic, out-of-date and utterly unnecessary.

Some say the mix tape is a tool of manipulation, a breaker of hearts. I say that love is a mix tape. And I am not alone.

For all you mix-tape virgins out there, here are some step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect mix tape. Remember, you always want to decorate both the tape itself, and the liner. (I mean, I even decorated the tape player itself. So that should say something.)

Wondering who on earth still uses tapes? Or better yet, where does one even get a tape player? Well, the other HuffPost Living editor swears by her Record / Tape player combo, which she found for $60 on eBay.

The mix tape is the eternal perfect gift. And while we're sticklers for the vintage style and hours of effort that goes into the making of a mix tape, CD compilations work too, and if you're really pressed for time and / or born after 1990, a dedicated iPod playlist is a suitable last resort.
So what is the best mix tape you've ever received? Who gave it to you? Do you still make mix tapes? Are there any songs that you consider mix tape must-haves? We'd looooove to know.

On that note, I still owe my boyfriend a Valentine's Day present...

Happy Mixing!

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