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Overwhelmed with technology?


According to a recent BA-sponsored survey, reported by all the news media, compiling ‘mix tapes’ is what the average Brit misses most from the past. Choosing which tracks to copy from your own vinyl records onto a cassette tape was the key activity to create personalised media and to enable sharing. It was a German-Brazilian former student of Philosophy, Andreas Pavel, who first approached consumer electronics companies in the mid 1970 with his idea for a portable personal stereo cassette player device. At first his idea was dismissed – “People would be crazy to run around wearing headphones” – but, of course, his ‘gadget’ went on to become the Sony Walkman.

Almost forty years on, people are reminiscing about personal cassette tapes while being permanently connected to a personal, portable device. Now the device is a smart phone, and limited capacity cassettes tapes have been replaced by near –instantaneous media streaming across broadband and mobile internet networks.

So are we better off than the tape mixers of the 1970s and 1980s? A lot has changed in terms of capability and availability but with that change has come much greater complexity. We now have limitless choice of entertainment so personalisation to our exact individual tastes is easier. And we