/ Technology

Making mix-CDs with MixPixie – hit or miss?

If you’re old enough to remember putting together mixtapes of your favourite tracks, you may find MixPixie interesting. It lets you create your own CD, choosing your favourite songs from over eight million tracks.

You create your own album cover from 500+ templates and then personalise it – add a photo of a loved one and give it your own album title, ‘Songs for Susie’ for example.

Hey presto, MixPixie creates your bespoke CD and mails it to you within 48 hours. With prices starting at £5.99, could this be the perfect Valentine’s gift?

Mixtape nostalgia

Personally I reckon it’s a great idea, but I’m ancient and have fond memories of creating mixtapes for girls I fancied at school.

I remember the agonising hours spent crafting what I thought was the perfect track selection in the vain hope that they’d be bowled over by my musical taste and fall swooning into my arms. Ok, this never actually happened but, undaunted, it never stopped me trying again.

Sadly, the demise of the cassette put an end to this (mainly) innocent past-time and I grew to realise that you needed to adopt more sophisticated tactics to attract the fairer sex.

The iPod generation

Here at Which? HQ the Mixpixie launch has created something of a heated debate. Some, like me, think it’s brilliant. Whereas others, admittedly the younger crew, think it’s a terrible idea.

The iPod generation see CDs as an ancient technology – many don’t even own a CD player and they can craft an MP3 or Spotify playlist in seconds. The idea of crafting your own album cover with a personalised message is seen as unbelievably ‘cheesy’ and they reckon the concept is doomed to failure.

So what do you think? Is making your own mix-CDs genius or just awful? Personally I know what my better half is getting on 14 February!

What do you think about MixPixie, which lets you create your own mix-CD?

I'm over-30 and I think it’s genius (33%, 36 Votes)

I'm under-30 and I think it's awful (32%, 35 Votes)

I'm over-30 and I think it's awful (22%, 24 Votes)

I'm under-30 and I think it’s genius (14%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 116

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Jimmy says:
8 February 2012

I think It’s a great idea, I bought a personalised Westlife CD for my daughter before Christmas. She cried with delight when she saw it. Not many presents do that, and for under £15 I thought it was brilliant.. Isn’t music meant to be personal? Ipods are great, but giving an itunes voucher as a present is a terrible cop out, this is fun and will have huge impact on the recipient, genius..

Martin Robbins says:
8 February 2012

I’m part of the Ipod generation. Although I perhaps wouldn’t want one for myself, I’ve already put in an order for one for Mothers day as I know she’ll love it, especially for her car!

I disagree with the article where it says it’s ‘unbelievably cheesy’. The designs are in majority, really creative and aesthetically pleasing, and it’s up to the user how cheesy they make their messages!

Rory O'Bryen says:
8 February 2012

I think this is a great idea – and three cheers for the geniuses who came up with the idea. It allows people to put something of their own creativity back into the stuff that they consume. If I got a nicely made mixed cd on feb 14th, I’d be thrilled.

Cheryl says:
8 February 2012

Just had a look at this website…it’s actually quite cool…I like the design with the tapes on the cover, think my mum’ll like the cupcakes one. Might give it a go, seems quite easy to use.

Alex R says:
8 February 2012

Well, nothing beats the fact that you can touch and feel a gesture. Of course, this is not about buying just music, but about gifting it to a loved near and dear one. You have the ease of doing it anywhere, whenever you want, and also involves the thought of it, (personlisation,here is more than just a picture here..isn’t it, with music choices, the message) than sending a bunch of roses, and chocolates with a gift card. I’d give this a one up…

Hello all, we’ve had to remove a comment as the author had direct involvement in the MixPixie site.

Although we accept company comments, we do not accept comments that are purely attempts at marketing and promotion, especially if the commenter pretends to be a general member of the public. You can find out more in our T&Cs. Thanks.

David R. says:
8 February 2012

Yes, it’s pretty obvious the first few comments are from the company…

mixed thoughts on this, it’s a nice idea but not ground breaking, certrainly not ‘genious’ probably something for the older generation.

It’ll be interesting to see how long the novelty lasts.

Vanessa says:
8 February 2012

I bought my Dad a personalised Westlife Greatest Hits for Christmas and he loved it. I think it’s a fab idea and I’m going to do one for a hen party

Yes, looks like someone’s alerted the MixPixie fan club to this article!

I think it could be a good idea for some people (i.e. people who still use CD players!) but I probably wouldn’t use it.

I’ve been given mix CDs in the past, and one of the things that makes them personal is that someone’s spent time slaving over them, and often drawing/making a personalised cover. Perhaps I’m just an old romantic but I think ticking things off a list on a website (although you’re making your own choices) seems to take away some of the personal aspect.

On top of that, I wouldn’t really know what to do with a CD these days – I only have one computer in the house that actually has a drive which will play CDs, so it’s far more limiting than a Spotify playlist. Not to mention the environmental impact of creating physical objects when the same thing can be done digitally far more efficiently.

Incidentally, mix CDs I’ve received in the past have now been re-created as Spotify playlists – they don’t lose any value by existing there instead of on a physical disk – the songs still have the same impact, and can be played on any device!

I think it’s a nice idea, but you could do it at home for a fraction of the cost. Wasn’t the ‘homemadeness’ of mixtapes their greatest appeal?

I think you’re exactly right Ben. Mixtapes got such a good reaction from the recipient not only because it was great to have all their favourite songs on one tape but also because they knew a lot of time and effort had gone into creating them. Getting a company to do it for you rather defeats the point.

If I ever come across someone who wants a personalised CD (don’t think I know anyone with a CD player…) I’ll be downloading the tracks, creating a playlist and burning to a CD. And I bet I could do it all for less than the £20.07 quoted for a MxPixie CD with 13 tracks on it!

Do they do MiniDiscs as well?!

I think it’s a nice idea too, but will surely only have limited appeal….

It sounds like a nice idea at first, but I probably won’t use it. I do use sites that create personalized greetings cards, but this one is different because they charge for each track. The problem with that is that you (or the recipient) most probably has already bought all the music they like. MixPixie would have been good if you could tick a box that said “I already own this track” so you are not charged for it (except, say, 5p to cover their cost of burning the track on the CD.)

And there’s a couple of other issues. First, music on a real CD is not compressed (and therefore suffers no loss in quality, except for the quantization errors of the 16-bit, 44 kHz sampling). However I suspect that the tracks recorded on the MixPixie CD originate from stored MP3s recorded with a certain amount of lossy compression.

And lastly, these recordable CDs have a shorter lifetime than mass-produced music CDs.

Alana says:
31 October 2013

Great idea, shame the song selection is a bit rubbish. Yes, there are about 20 versions of Tina Turners Simply the Best – everything from a dance remix to a sax version. No sign of the original though. So far has been similar to this for every song i’ve searched for… Perhaps I am doing something wrong?