Your car has a fresh full tank of gas and the suitcases are stuffed in the trunk. You've got the gang gathered and everyone is all set to embark on a road trip that has been planned since the 7th grade. The only thing missing- a perfectly mixed CD, one that requires absolutely no skipping (or fast-forwarding if you are kickin' it old-school) of songs what-so-ever.

To make the perfect mix-tape, one must acquire an array of skills. Starting with taste. Let's say you're into pop music while another friend enjoys rock, and yet another likes rap. Three totally different genres. Three totally different tastes. How do you find a balance and learn to appease everyone at the same time? Take it from the master of mix tapes, a musical Yoda if you will, the creator of the ever-so popular "Now that's What I Call Music" series. "_____________..."

Next comes selection. One CD can hold, on average, 12-15 songs based on the song's length. Bring along a Beatles mix tape and you'll be more likely to listen to 22-25 songs on one disc. Pack a CD featuring two of the longest Pink Floyd jams ever "Dogs" and "Echoes" and you are looking to listen to only 3-4 song selections if your are lucky. Keep that in mind when planning a long road trip: the longer the song the less songs you'll fit.

The last step is order. When I make mix tapes, I really try and tap into my inner DJ. I personally do not care to put slow songs on my road trip mixes but some people prefer them. If songs of the slow and sappy kind do happen to make their way into your mix, spread them out and use this very simple rule. For each slow song, there should be 2-3 fast songs in between. A mix tape following this method would have 3-4 slow songs on a single disc.

Now, with iPods becoming more and more synonymous with today's preferred player of music, maybe the idea of making a mix tape sounds a little outdated. If that is the case, you can always make a playlist and include an endless number of songs in any order you choose using the same rules. Just plug it into a car adaptor and play!