8tracks.com – Digital Answer To Lost Art Of Mixtapes
A digital answer to the lost art of the mixtape, 8tracks allows listeners to create their own playlists that can be easily shared with others. Half music discovery service and half curation tool, 8tracks users can generate custom playlists by uploading their own MP3s or using songs already imported into 8tracks’ library, which can then be streamed online, tweeted, and embedded onto other websites.
8tracks is similar to the now defunct Muxtape, another shareable playlist hosting site that rose in popularity a few years back. However, unlike Muxtape, which was taken offline by the RIAA for hosting illegal content, 8tracks operates under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 while paying royalties to SoundExchange which are then distributed to the copyright owners and recording artists – in other words, 8tracks is legal.
A new 8tracks iPhone app, released earlier this month, is yet another service in the growing social music sphere that allows us to customize the music we already love, discover music we hope to love, and share it with others.
Giving users the option to listen to their playlists on the go, the new app lets users search for music by artist, genres, and mood tags, stream their favorited users tracks, “like” their favorite tracks or mixes, and purchase individual tracks directly through Amazon. 8tracks also features mixes curated by major artists such as Dave Grohl and Metric, as well as musical brands such as Pitchfork, SPIN, and Rolling Stone. There seems to be much potential for 8tracks in terms partnerships, as well as a step into the vacancy of online mixtape curation that Muxtape once filled.
An Android app is also in the works and is slated for release later this year.
Alison McCarthy is a Brooklyn-based writer who focuses on the intersection of music, technology, and community. She’s a second-year graduate student of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. You can follow @aliiimac on Twitter.