8tracks allows users to create and share personalized playlists of their favorite tunes. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.
8tracks: The music service that could.
Music streaming services exist in a sphere saturated with choice. Users can select options for online music ranging from the algorithm powered Pandora to the all-you-can-eat-buffet glory of Spotify. In addition to these, you have last.fm, the beautiful baby between social networking and music. Hidden under all of these, there is another music service: 8tracks.com.
“8tracks effectively separates itself from other music services by retaining the human element. People usually design a playlist for a purpose: working out, chilling out, studying, or a party, and 8tracks is the only site that allows you to hear playlists designed by like-minded individuals doing and feeling the same things as you when you're looking for a certain type of emotion from your music,” said Andy Fisher, an University of Akron junior and lead guitarist of the metal band, The Approach and the Execution.
Rather than rely on math to dictate the playlist, 8tracks gives the power back to the community. Anyone has the power to choose at least eight tracks from their personal collection, hence the website’s name, and upload them legally to the website. Users then can name the list based on the theme and add a personal touch with some artwork. After uploaded, other users can comment on each mix and “heart” their favorite playlists.
8tracks aims to evoke feelings of nostalgia of the days when friends spent time painstakingly crafting mix-tapes on a CD (remember those?) and marked it up with Sharpies in every color of the rainbow. The results are playlists that help you discover new music and rediscover music you may have forgotten. The traditional method of music discovery, word of mouth, shines on 8tracks as users become personal DJs for every visitor of the website.
8tracks was named one of the top 50 websites of 2011 by Time magazine.
There is an 8tracks app in the Android Marketplace and for iPhone/iPod Touch.blog comments powered by Disqus