The album is a mix tape

I think the first mix tape I made was for myself; maybe some Pearl Jam and Led Zeppelin I'd jog to. Then I found out girls liked mix tapes and I started making them with different songs -- each carefully chosen to represent something.

Now it's not just teenagers in love who make playlists in iTunes. Really, these are not songs but lists -- lists that call individual songs from one's harddrive. And it's the individual song that people purchase (or don't purchase) today. Playlists can have hundreds of songs and there can be overlap from one playlist to another. In fact, they can even be random or "smart" -- not pre-set, but based on attributes such as how often songs are listened too, how highly they're ranked, their genre, etc.

But where does all this wizardry leave the 14-song CD sitting at the counter in Starbucks? Given the context of 99 cent songs at the iTunes store, infinite playlists and zero-loss digital copying, I think of that CD as just another playlist

Like Sheryl Crow just made me a mix tape.