One of the greatest gifts I was ever given was a boom box with built in tape deck. I would sit and listen to the radio for hours, taping the songs I loved the most (making sure to edit out the commercials). I was 6 and it changed my world forever. That's why I say, forget MP3 players and go old school.
Over the years I've progressed. I own an iPod like most everyone else, have ripped all my cd's into audio files and although I still use our record player ever single day, I don't have the same hands on relationship I used to have with music.
When digital is a cheap form of media, it's easy to give kids their first mp3 player. You can control what they listen to and only recharge it when you want them to have it. But I'm a firm believer that it doesn't build the same personal relationship that mix tapes and working for your compilation (instead of turning on a Genius play list).
The art of making mix tapes isn't a new one and I wasn't the first child to have this memory. My husband tells tales similar to mine and loves the skills he learned by taping songs and mixing them into a pleasing order that you just don't get with the digital age.
Did you grow up on making mix tapes? Did you sit for hours waiting for the perfect song to come on and press record or did you skip right over it all and go straight to the iGeneration?