Thesis: Why do people make mixes?

In my process of building a User Scenario, I have been thinking a lot about WHY someone would use my app. Though there are probably some mobile-specific reasons (they have a phone, they like apps), I don't think it has much to do with that. So, I have concentrated almost all of my efforts in exploring why people make mixes.


After User Testing for me, Sarah Hallacher recommended the book Love is a Mix Tape, which is turning out to be a pretty moving [read: pleasantly depressing? is that possible] read about a romance that ends in tragedy, but is marked by the exchanging of mix tapes. As the author begins to tell the story of his romance, he first breaks down the reasons for making a mix tape, which I thought were super relevant and nearly exhaustive for my purposes as well:
Though I can imagine adjusting features to encourage the user to move towards any one of these scenarios, The Walking Tape, in particular, mirrors my idea to tie physical space to music. The emotional motivations (I Want You/Have a Crush On You/Want to Be Friends), I think, are also pretty spot-on, as I'd really like for my app to provide an intimate experience between two people.


I also watched High Fidelity to further understand why people are excited about music and how they consider it as marketing pivotal moments in their lives. After a bad breakup, Lloyd, the main character, rearranges his records in chronological order by life event. This kind of relationship isn't necessarily a geo-spatial one, but is interesting as it sheds some light on how the relationship with music transfers off the record/computer screen/etc. and into our ideas of time and space.


Everyone's Mixtape is a web-based service that allows users to create and consume mix tapes. Two things about this site are interesting to me: first, it takes a very skeuomorphic approach with the aesthetic. Secondly, the most popular mix categories mimic the categories from Love is a Mix Tape fairly closely, but with the addition of time of day. In User Testing and going through the User Scenario Questionnaire, that variable has been mentioned a lot. I wonder if adding an extra constraint would make the app more interesting, or add more of a barrier to entry.


So far as I can see, people make mix tapes for several reasons:
1. They want to further a relationship with someone (friendship or romance)
1b. To send a message to someone you have a close relationship with
2. It is a special occasion (gift-giving holiday, party, life event, etc.)
3. To go alongside already established routines (cleaning, walking, driving, smoking pot, etc.)

As I progress into the User Scenario part of the project, I will prioritize and highlight which of these motives are the most promising/vital to my concept.