A few months back, a friend and I were talking about the different apps and programs you can use to listen to music on the go- iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, etc.- and he asked if I’d heard of 8tracks.
“Like an old tape from the 70’s? I mean, I’ve heard of it, but I don’t…”
No, 8tracks.com. There’s a website and an app, and you can listen to mixes that other people have made, or you can make your own and share them (with the ‘cover art’ of your choice), for free. You can search by artist, genre or keyword (think ‘Bachelorette Party Playlist’, ‘Bridal Suite Prep playlist’, ‘Baby Shower playlist’, ‘Bridal Shower playlist’, ‘Wedding Ceremony playlist’, ‘Olympics playlist’, etc.). There’s no algorithm to decide what song you’ll hear next. These are handcrafted mixes made by real people, and you can tell. There are no commercials. You can follow people who make compelling mixes, and like or comment on their collections as you wish.
Have a lot of music? You can try your hand at being a DJ- put it together in a good mix and wait to see who is loving it! You’ll get fun emails saying that somebody just liked your mix or added a comment, and that’s pretty cool.
Have a pretty dismal music library? Want to put together a playlist for a special occasion, but don’t want to shell out the big bucks to buy all of the songs you’re thinking of? Fear not…Somebody else may have already created your dream playlist, and you can listen to it for free!
Why haven’t you heard of 8tracks? They don’t really advertise, as they want us to share their awesomeness by word of mouth (long the trusted means for music discovery). The site was founded in 2006, launched in 2008 and is finally reaching out to you in 2014. Check it out!
Looking for the downside? The catch? There really isn’t one. I have noticed while creating playlists that it limits how many songs you can put on a playlist from the same album or artist (because really, would you want a real DJ to play all the same stuff?), but I also noticed that you can look up an album (Pitch Perfect, for example) and listen to the whole thing, so I’m not sure exactly how that works.
Bonus upside? If you create a playlist and share it on 8tracks, you don’t necessarily have to be the one to hook up (and tie up) your phone or ipod at your next celebration. This is especially helpful if you’re the host and have people calling you at the last minute for directions/assistance. If a friend or family member can get on 8tracks and access your playlist, they can play your music and you can keep your phone handy. So there’s that.
Gosh, it really seems like I’m advertising for 8tracks. They didn’t ask me to, but I guess I am because I like it. Don’t get me wrong- I still use Spotify at home (which I like), we use Pandora a lot on our phones (my husband even made the commitment to pay for the ads to go away), and I use iTunes a lot because sometimes, I just want to hear my music (you know, listening all the way through a CD, like Mariah Carey’s Daydream or The Book of Mormon). Sometimes, I hit up the library and spend a week or two listening to a book on CD in my car, and sometimes I listen to the radio. I have lots of respect for Sirius and XM radio (although we don’t have them ourselves) and sometimes…I just let it be quiet so I can gather and sort my own thoughts. Whatever you do, be entertained and be happy- just do it with an awareness of your options, and don’t stop the music!
By the Way…
Looking for the right music to make your wedding momentous & magical? Check out this always-changing post and pretty please comment with any suggestions you may have!
Looking for great songs to play at a Bridal Shower? Check this one out!