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Sharetapes puts a modern twist on the physical mixtape

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February 12, 2013

Sharetapes cards use NFC and QR codes to load playlists

Sharetapes cards use NFC and QR codes to load playlists

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Once upon a time, the analog cassette tape was king. And for those that remember the time, chances are you might also recall having made a mixtape or two as well. Australian-based start-up venture Sharetapes is looking to recapture a little of that old-school magic, albeit with a modern twist, by launching a line of physical cards that you can load-up with playlists from websites like YouTube, Spotify and 8tracks. Users can then share their saved lists with other people’s smartphones using near-field communication (NFC) technology or quick response (QR) scanning codes.

Near-field communication on mobile devices is becoming ever more commonplace, and the potential for it to become an essential part of everyday life is huge. We are already tapping our bank cards against a screen at the supermarket checkout, and new examples of NFC-enabled products for use with smartphones, such as business cards and door locks are highlighting the innovative potential of the technology.

Sharetapes will send out your blank “tapes” in packs of five retro-styled cards. After registering with Sharetapes, users can then enter a link to their saved playlist from any of the supported sites, while also adding a unique code found on the back of each card. Hit “record,” and your mixtape is created.

Sharetapes card with NFC functionality

Each business card-sized piece features an NFC chip on board and a QR code on the back for scanning when you are ready to share your playlists. While pretty much standard on newer Android, Windows and Blackberry phones, NFC support is lacking from iPhone and older smartphones – hence the inclusion of the QR scanning code. Tapping the card on an NFC enabled smartphone, or scanning the code, will take you straight to the saved playlist. Those without either method can go directly to the website and input the code to get the playlist.

Besides the idea of simply sharing music for recreational purposes, Sharetapes offers a convenient and interesting way for people to advertise themselves or a product to potential customers. For example, each tape might function as a business calling-card, loaded with links to digital, dynamic content that you can direct clients to.

As mentioned, Sharetapes come in packs of five, which are priced at AUD$6.99 (US$7.20 at time of publication).

Source: Sharetapes

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5 Comments

Hmmm Interesting use of the NFC, I like it. especially the business card aspect. guessing they are not re-loadable?

Elvis A Valentin
13th February, 2013 @ 12:31 am PST

I like the price of it and the look so cool in that it is retro; look of the cassette tape.

I did not find anything on their web site indicating it can be re-used but it seems logical that it could be (at least to me).

BigWarpGuy
13th February, 2013 @ 06:16 am PST

I am truly surprised that no one has come up with an MP3 player the size and shape of a cassette. You could even put speakers in the sprocket "holes". Controls along an edge. Hmmm....

[Ed note: See our article on the Mixtape MP3 Player at http://www.gizmag.com/makerbot-mixtape-cassette-shaped-mp3-player/23505/ ]

KMH
13th February, 2013 @ 08:42 am PST

I used to have a mp3 player that was a shaped like a cassette in the mid 90's that took a "sd" card and was playable in any cassette player. So what's so "new" about this?

Pks29733steel
13th February, 2013 @ 09:57 am PST

The NFC and the QR code are. Also the MP3 player you had was probably designed for you to be the owner, while here the intended purpose is to be given away.

RaverWild
1st March, 2013 @ 11:09 am PST
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