The Modern Day Mix Tape
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/22498' target='_blank'>http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/22498</a><br /><br /></div>"<em>Playlists have completely replaced the proverbial mixed tape, so it seems Apple and Microsoft decided to help you out this Valentine's Day by releasing special pink and red music players for your lady. Microsoft was the first to announce its special 80GB red Zune that includes your choice of laser-etched artwork on the back. You'll be able to choose between 20 designs, and further personalize the player with special playlists and wallpaper. Apple announced its 8GB pink iPod nano last week, which will no doubt be a big seller even after Valentine's Day.</em>"<br /><br /><img border="1" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/500/zt/auto/1200433899.usr495.jpg" alt="" /><br /><br />Yahoo! Tech's Gina Hughes gives the lowdown on the hot gadgets to give for Valentines Day. She of course mentions our favorite portable media player and its <a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/32067/a-valentines-treat.html" target="_blank">festive</a> <a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/32080/valentines-backgrounds-and-more.html" target="_blank">digs</a>. <br /><br />What I'd really like to see with the Originals is the ability to pre-load the player with songs of the purchaser's choosing--your song, a collection of <a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/32067/a-valentines-treat.html" target="_blank">bedroom favorites</a>, or even a <a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/23730/man-uses-zune-to-propose-to-his-girlfriend.html" target="_blank">wedding proposal</a> can come pre-loaded. This would truly be like the mixtapes of yore, except without the innate hiss that comes from a poor-quality stereo recording. It'd be no more difficult have these personally customized than the etching on the Originals. Of course, it would require some engineering magic to make into reality, but the Zune team was able to write new firmware, software, and establish a strong brand name in just one year. Magic is what they do.<br /><br />Zune's had a leg-up in the pre-loaded media department. Since the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v._Apple_Computer" target="_blank">Apple v. Apple</a> settlement last year, many have <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultofmac/2007/02/72656" target="_blank">posited</a> that portable audio players could come with a playlist of favorite songs and frankly I'm surprised this hasn't really come about. For the record, I think the Cult of Mac article is full of crap, but the idea isn't a terrible one. <br /><br />The rest of Hughes' article lays out some other tech options to wow your mate (mostly in pink, <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/10/survey-says-women-patronized-by-pink-tech/" target="_blank">of course</a>). Just make sure that special someone <a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/32100/hatin.html" target="_blank">actually wants these gadgets</a>.