How to Make and Share Music Playlists as Gifts
A Thoughtful and Thrifty Gift
Playlists have been around before they were called playlists. Back in the 1970s, they had 8 track tapes full of their favorite jams. When cassettes took over in the late 1970s, people made mixes of their favorite tunes and gave it to their friends and love interests. By the 1980s, CDs became the new way for people to make mixes. And by the 1990s it had its own stake in the black market. With the dawn of the internet and new technology, MP3s took over as the way playlists were made and shared.
Some of the best memories I have of my life come from playlists that I or others have made. Songs have this way of capturing memories that sometimes even pictures do not have.
Since the mid 2000s, in one way or another I have helped to make playlists for friends and family using iTunes. It is not only a thoughtful gift, but a cost effective one. Even middle and high school students can do this for their friends and family. All it takes is a little creativity and some patience.
Thinking of a Theme
Unlike buying a CD Box Set or Compilation Disc, there is no predetermined track listings for playlists. It's all up to you.
That being said, if you want to make and give a quality playlist you need to have some ideas in mind. If it's for a holiday like Christmas or Valentine's Day you can think of songs you know that person likes that remind them of that time of year or you can go outside of the box. The main idea is to think of what that person likes and tailor it to their specific tastes.
If you are making a playlist for an anniversary or birthday you have leeway to think of songs that remind you of that person or they like. But if you are still scratching your head for ideas here are some themes I think will work.
- Songs From Their Year of Birth- This can be a lot of fun if they were born in a memorable year like 1969 or 1984. However, if you know they do not like songs from the year they were born or are very particular about musical tastes I would try for something else.
- Sweet 16 Tunes- Even if they did not have a sweet 16 party, 16 is a memorable age for many people. If you know they had certain songs they loved to listen to- those would be great to feature.
- Driving Songs- There are some songs that everyone loves to sing along to on the open road. You can even include songs like "Drive My Car" or "Start Me Up" that relate to driving. But be careful if you know they have a propensity to speed to certain kinds of music like metal and hip-hop.
- Party Starter Mix- If you know this person loves to dance and have a good time- this is an ideal playlist for them.
- Heartbreak Songs- This is great if the person has just gone through a breakup or tragedy of some sort.
- Rainy Day Mix- There are a lot of songs that have something to do with water and/or rain. And if they live in a climate that gets a lot of rain say London or Seattle, this would be a great playlist for them.
- Ultimate Crush Playlist- Infatuation is a common theme of songs. You can specify it by saying Ultimate Crush Playlist of the 1980s or something like that.
- Prom Classics- If that person had or is anticipating a memorable prom you can put together a mix that might have them remember that night forever.
- Spread Your Wings Mix-This would make a great graduation present for someone moving into the next phase of life.
The ideas are endless, it's just about keeping an open mind and knowing what that person likes.
Tips and Instructions
- Create a Windows Media Player Playlist - For Dummies
Organize your music into playlists (groups of songs with a particular theme) using Windows Media Player . To create a playlist, follow these steps: 1 Click the Library
- Share your favorite iTunes playlists | Macworld
Kirk McElhearn explains how to import and export playlists to share with others, plus how to gift the contents of your favorite playlists to lucky friends.
Things to Keep in Mind
When you sit down to make the playlist, you want to avoid all problems and complications that you can possibly anticipate. So before you sit at the computer, make sure you have your ducks in a row.
- Does the person have an MP3 player? Not everyone has an iPod or MP3 player yet. Some people still have CD players (hopefully not tape) and will need an actual disc.
- If the person does still have a CD, make sure you buy the right kind of CD to burn your playlist: What that means is make sure you purchase CD-RW or CD-R discs to ensure your playlists writes itself to the disc. And check the length of the discs so you have an idea of how many songs you can fit on your playlist.
- Are your MP3 programs compatible? For instance, if you have Rhapsody and your brother has iTunes it will not work but do not fret. You can always burn a CD and give it to him.
- Do you have the latest version of the MP3 program? As an iTunes user, I'm used to getting a request to update to the latest version of the program. In order to ensure everything goes well, I would advise you update the software before you get started.
Instructions for Making an iTunes Playlist
- Open iTunes.
- Go To File and Select New Playlist.
- Untitled Playlist will appear on the left side of the screen. Right click to give it a name.
- Using your Library you can either right click songs and select add to playlist to put it your new playlist or you can drag the song to the new playlist on the left.
- When you have all of your songs, right click and select publish playlist and you can choose from either sharing the playlist with everyone or iTunes or sending it to a specific person. If they don't have those songs on their personal iTunes or the songs are album only- then you have a problem. But you can always select burn playlist to disc for them to transfer.
Instructions for Creating a Windows Media Player Playlist
- Open Windows Media Player.
- Open Library.
- In the left side of the window, select create playlist under the playlists toolbar.
- Name your playlist and describe it in a couple of words.
- Find the song you want in the library to add to your playlist.
- Drag and drop it to the list pane in the window.
- Save the Playlist.
- Clear the Playlist.
- Make sure you have a digital media receiver or computer with the same version of Windows.
- Click Allow for the playlist to be shared.