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The rise of the mix CD in Eagle County

Wren Wertinwren@vaildaily.comEagle County CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyCrafting homemade mix CD's and covers for friends and family is a thoughtful, economical gift.
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado In high school my friends and I would make mixed tapes for each other. Before I learned about the pause button it was all record-stop-record-stop, so the beginning of each song had a nice little screech of the tape coming up to speed. Id long forgotten the art of mixed tapes until iTunes came along and rocked my world. Not only could I load my music into a scratch-proof environment, but I could permanently skip those one or two tracks that irritated me. Playlists were a natural step. First I made them for my differing and disparate driving moods; then I made them as gifts. This year, Ive decided to re-create a little piece of my childhood and make a mixed CD for my family.Christmas used to mean hayrides and caroling, snuggled under scratchy blankets singing songs by heart. I love Christmas carols, though I feel strongly about hearing them before Thanksgiving in retail establishments. Im also partial to churchy songs rather than Frosty et al. And I hate synthesizers or anything overly dramatic, while Ella Fitzgerald singing it like it is can make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Theres a lot of bad Christmas music out there, and some very, very good stuff. I sorted through a portion of it and came up with an albums worth. First, load your legally bought music into iTunes. Then create a playlist with the songs you want. If youre not sure how to make a playlist, consult howstuffworks.com, which has answers to all kinds of questions. If you want to only use a portion of the track (perhaps the song has a verbal intro you dont want, or is two tracks tacked together), then click on the track. Under the File button on the toolbar, hit Get Info. From there, click on Options. There, you can adjust the Start Time (usually 0:00) and Stop Time (usually the duration of the song). You can also make a track louder or softer using the Volume Adjustment on the same screen. Dont be afraid to use multiple versions of a song, or even starting and finishing an album with the same song. Its your mix, and you dont have to listen to anyone elses rules. After making your mixed disc, decorating the liner notes is one of the finishing touches. So even though the computer has done most of the work, it still looks and feels homemade. Heres the disc my mom and sister will be listening to this Christmas:

1. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, by the Carpenters 2. The First Noel, by Ella Fitzgerald3. Do You Hear What I Hear, by Martin Sexton 4. Carol of the Bells, by Straight No Chaser 5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Sister Hazel 6. Little Drummer Boy, by Sister Hazel 7. We Three Kings, by Ella Fitzgerald 8. Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal), by Vince Guaraldi Trio 9. Angels We Have Heard On High, by The Roches 10. Silver Bells, by Martin Sexton11. Winter Wonderland, by Willie Nelson12. The Christmas Song, by Catherine Feeny13. What Child Is This, by Alison Krauss, Cody Kilby, Darrin Vincent, Rob Ickes & Ronnie McCoury14. O Holy Night, by Melissa McClelland 15. Silent Night, by Johnny Cash 16. O Little Town Of Bethlehem, by Willie Nelson 17. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, by The Roches 18. What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong19. Carol of the Bells, by Cody Kilby, Darrin Vincent & Joe Caverlee 20. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Hem21. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy, by Bing Crosby & David Bowie


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