A mixtape is the generic name given to any compilation of songs recorded onto any audio format.
A mixtape, which usually reflects the musical tastes of its compiler, can range from a casually selected list of favorite songs, to a conceptual mix of songs linked by a theme or mood, to a highly personal statement tailored to the tape's intended recipient. Essayist Geoffrey O'Brien has called the personal mix tape "the most widely practiced American art form", and many mixtape enthusiasts believe that by carefully selecting and ordering the tracks in a mix, an artistic statement can be created that is greater than the sum of its individual songs.
With the advent of affordable, consumer-level digital audio, creating and distributing mixes in the form of compact disc or MP3 playlists has become the contemporary method of choice, but the term mixtape is still commonly used, even for mixes in different media (for example,CD, MP3, MiniDisc, audio cassette 8 track).
Video mixtapes have emerged as well.