If you want to feel old, consider this: There are currently high schoolers who have likely never heard music being played from a compact disc — let alone a cassette tape. For better or worse (mostly better, though), we’re a generation removed from that unforgettable feeling of frustration when the spools caught an edge and eviscerated your Purple Rain tape.
Even so, many of us still have cassette tape players sitting around and gathering dust, whether in the car or as part of an aging home theater setup. Apart from the sheer nostalgia of the old players, it would be nice to have a use for them, no? Enter Mixxtape — the cassette, reinvented.
A Kickstarter project from Mixxim, this intriguing digital music player blends classic cassette looks with all the functionality you’d expect from a contemporary music device — oh, and it works in your old tape player, too.
At the top of the player (where you’d normally scrawl the name of your mixtape in Sharpie), there’s a little LCD display, with touch controls located to the left. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Micro USB port to allow you to download files from your computer; the player is compatible with both PC and Mac.
The Mixxtape is also equipped with a SD card slot (it comes with an 8GB card, though you can use up to 64GB), and it supports playback for most popular audio codecs, including FLAC, OGG, and AAC files. The battery is claimed to charge fully in under an hour and last for up to 12 hours of playback, depending on use. The kicker: Mixxtape supports Bluetooth 3.0, so it’ll work with newer car stereos or wireless headphones.
Originally conceived as a unique way for artists to present demos to producers, Mixxtape is pretty versatile: Use it as a music player, or upload a playlist of ten grunge songs and go analog, toting a boombox outside your crush’s bedroom window. The only thing we wish it could do is receive a Bluetooth signal from your phone or other device. Then you could finally throwaway that crappy cassette-to-3.5mm adapter posted up in your vintage Volvo.
Still, it looks like the Mixxtape is arriving at just the right time — in the middle of a cassette tape resurgence. The project has exceeded its original goal of $10,000 by around tenfold, with a few days remaining for backers to pledge their support.
Here’s where we’ll dutifully remind you that any crowdfunded project runs the risk of folding before it gets to market. Pledges to Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sites require a leap of faith, and should be done with appropriate caution. That said, if you’re looking to get in, a mere $40 (half the projected retail price) will net you a Mixxtape, with rewards ranging up from there depending upon your pledge.
There’s not much time left, so if you’re looking to get your cassette jam on you can make a pledge to Mixxim’s Kickstarter page here.