It started when I was ten or eleven, on my Dad's old reel to reel tape recorder, then on my own cassette player which I received for my 12th birthday. The cassette compilations continued on various upgraded bits of kit for 25 years, which is why to this day, after several big clear-outs, I still have a large number of them to sort through.
There then followed the short, glorious reign of the mini-disc. I loved the format. The editing facilities were worth the price of admission alone. You could play around with the running order and insert or remove tracks from the middle of the disc, all this and there was no tape to twist, stretch or snap. They were brilliant - and tailor made for the pedantic compilation maker like myself! The mini-disc, however, was quickly superseded by the CDR and, in the blink of an eye, by anonymous files on a computer.
I liked the idea of a snapshot of time - be it a 60 minute cassette or 70 minute mini-disc/CDR - and when I physically stopped 'creating' compilations in favour of dropping MP3's into a monthly file on my computer I found that, a) I would sometimes end up with 50, 60 or 70+ tunes and b)...I'd never listen to them! So a couple of years ago I started making little 8Track playlists online. Around 30 minutes of music that I'm currently grooving to - perfect. Back to my original premise, a simple audio diary. (And to Mrs S's delight, they take up no physical room in the house!)
I've been a bit lax lately, but I'm going to get back in the habit of putting together and posting the occasional 8Track playlist. There are around 35 earlier compilations here if you ever find yourself in need of half an hour's worth of aural distraction. Maybe one day, if I'm able to figure out the technology involved, I'll digitize and post a few of the really old tapes.
(While we're on the subject, you should also check out Singing Bear's regularly updated and always fascinating Grooveshark playlist over at Grown Up Backwards.)
Moon Duo - I Can See
Rasha - Azara Alhai
Stealing Sheep - Rearrange
Billy Bragg - Old Clash Fan Fight Song
Gregory Isaacs - Ba Da
Cheek Mountain Thief - Showdown
This is the Kit - Sleeping Bag (The Resident Cards)
Pete Seeger & Lorre Wyatt - Fields of Harmony