I’ve read The Martian more than five times, and watched the movie twice that number – and one of my biggest questions has been “What would my mix tape to Mars sound like?” Now, seeing as it should take around 300 days to get to the planet, I’m thinking I’ve got plenty of time to fill…
Also, having arrived on Mars, and just like Mark Watney, I’d probably desire a unique and diverse selection. Even some disco would work for me. Now I know that weight & space are premium assets while traveling the galaxy, but I’d love to suspend my disbelief long enough for NASA to say “Bryant, as the first audio engineer to relocate to Mars, we’ll allow you to take a certain amount of specialty gear along…” I can dream.
I always prefer contained listening storage systems when given the choice. CD’s, vinyl, etc. I like how they force us to select a group of songs that will work together. My player of choice? Absolutely the Mini Disc – remember those? Each cartridge allowed storage of approximately 80 minutes of really decent-sounding audio. It never really caught on here in the U.S., but was pretty huge in other places like Japan (I believe). I still own a handful of mini-disc players, and recall that they were really great for lounge performers. I worked with a Frank Sinatra impersonator who entertained on cruise ships, and we’d load his music up for his shows on mini-disc. Back in the day, they were unique in that amazing, added function of letting you re-order a playlist however we wanted, and delete a song in the ‘middle’ of a disc! Yes – random access – what a beautiful thing!
So, if I’m filling my Mini Disc for Mars, here’s my proposed cartridge breakout:
- 6 discs for working out (approx. 480 minutes)
- 12 discs for busy work (cleaning the latrine etc.)
- 4 or 5 full-out party discs (I just don’t party much – will take a book over a dance club any day…)
- 12 classical music discs, broken out by artist
- 24 Pop, Rock, Commercial ear candy (I’m a child of the 80’s, what can I say?)
- 6 extra discs of Alternate, Funk, Jam and stuff with lots of groove
All right, so as I look at it, this is probably just the tip of the mix iceberg. But already only being able to use the Mini Disc player has forced me to make some hardcore decisions.
So how would you do it? Maybe just that one cassette tape like in Guardians of the Galaxy...?
That’s my take.