Last call for Mix CD Swap participants! You have until midnight tomorrow night (EST) to sign up. See this post for that process. As promised, here is a more comprehensive explanation of the rules and process.
What happens after the matches are posted?
You have 4 weeks to make a mix; the deadline for having your CDs in the mail (or your playlists uploaded) is Sept. 12. Your partner will appreciate you emailing when your mix is in the mail. If you can, give him or her an estimate of how long it will take to arrive.
How much does it cost?
You will most likely need blank CDs and postage, but there are alternatives to those costs. Regarding postage, there is no suggested method. You can spring for delivery confirmation, but in general the cheapest option will do.
Do I need to put my mix in a padded envelope?
Yes. The CD will also need to be in a case.
Postage is a problem this round/I'm running out of time/I'm interested in alternatives to burning and mailing a CD:
You are welcome to upload music to a private website or a place like YouSendIt, either .zip-ped or individually linked, or in a folder – doesn't matter, but please do the following: type up a playlist for your partner's reference, and please post the link in a private email to your partner, not on this blog.
Are a playlist, liner notes, and cover art required?
Only a playlist is required. Liner notes are optional, but fantastic – this is your chance to tell your partner why you love the music you are sharing. But if you are short on time, liner notes and cover art are definitely optional. Additional details in the playlist beyond artist and song title are excellent, particularly if you are promoting lesser known artists. You might consider including the album title and release year, but of course that is optional as well.
What kind of music should I put on my mix?
Whatever you like! There are no rules for the actual mixes. Just put in whatever you're feeling at the moment and what you think people should know about. You are welcome to browse your partner's website (if applicable) for ideas. You can also do a themed mix at any time (more on this later). But the primary purpose of the mix trade is to share your tastes and your creativity. As such, everybody might not like each song on his/her mix, but everyone will have been exposed to new music. Hopefully, each person will discover someone new they enjoy, too!
Can I specify the type of music I'd like to receive? As a general rule, no. See above. If you are genuinely worried that you might receive something offensive, however, email me and we'll discuss your concern, involving your partner if necessary.
How long should the mix be?
You should aim to fill up as much of your chosen media as possible. If you're sending a 74 minute CD-R, for example, you should try to fill up as much of that 74 minutes as possible.
Yay! My mix has arrived! Should I thank my partner? Yes, that would be nice. And your mother would encourage you to do so as well, and you know it. Emails are fine for this.
What if I don't receive my mix by the deadline? It could just be that the mail is slow. If you have not heard from your partner that your mix was sent, try contacting him/her again, and let me know. If you still do not hear back, I will try to get an answer for you. Hopefully it was either the mail's fault or Real Life intervened, and you can still get your mix from your original partner. But...
What if my partner flakes?
If it's three or four days past the deadline and no one's heard hide nor hair of your partner, either I or a volunteer from the group will send you a mix for this round. Don't let it sour you on the process. It happens to the best of us.
Hey, themed mixes sound legendary. What kind of themes are we talking about?
Creativity knows no limits here. One mix CD that a friend of mine made for someone was songs about the sun-moon cycle of a day. As in, the songs started with sunrise and went to moonlight. It was awesome music too. If you want some suggestions, though, here you go:
Songs To RAGE To
Songs You Love That Make Your Friends Roll Your Eyes
Songs For Driving
Songs For Rainy Sundays In Bed
Songs That Make You Swoon
Songs That Remind You of High School/College
Songs that have a name in them (e.g., "Levon," "Mandy," etc.)
Well, that should clear up any confusion and let everyone know what is expected. Any further questions should definitely be emailed to me, or you could post them in a comment. Please don't hesitate.
Matches will be announced August 15!