‘8Track’ allows users to create, share mixes

By Elizabeth Chen, Circulation Manager

For most people, musical taste is as unique as their thumbprints.  Internet radio sites such as Pandora tried to decipher a pattern in such musical preferences, but they failed to be very efficient or accurate.  Now 8tracks.com has stepped up to the plate.

8tracks.com is the first Internet radio site to capture the sense of community that music can provide by allowing users to create and share mixes, 8tracks’ term for user-made playlists, online.

Like any other Internet radio site, 8tracks’ music license limits the number of songs that listeners can skip per hour to two.  But, for anyone looking to be exposed to new music, listening to an entire song from beginning to end is the only way to fully appreciate it and gage whether you like it.  Also, if the mix is not suited to a person’s taste, there are thousands of other mixes on the site to choose from.

There is a mix for quite nearly any mood, setting or event anyone could possibly dream of.  For example, if it’s raining outside, one could simply type “rain” into the search bar to find over 450 different mixes that other people created especially for rainy days.

Pandora makes sharing music impersonal by matching songs with others based on musical similarities alone.  8tracks, on the other hand, displays mixes created by real people with a variety of musical tastes and the inclination to group songs together based on how they feel.  In music, feel is more important than formula.

The site also has a certain culture around it that can be witnessed in the mixes’ creative titles, descriptions, and pictures.  Mix titles can be descriptive“— Songs to lie on your bed and stare at the ceiling to,” “Songs that make you feel better,” “Songs with the most beautiful lyrics”— or a little more general, like “Hey man, it’ll be okay” or “Livin’ like it’s shark week” (whatever that means).

8tracks also combines the best features of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to further create a sense of community.  The “like” feature enables people to keep track of the mixes they enjoy.  Users can also “follow” others who make consistently good mixes.

With 8tracks, it’s pretty much guaranteed that anyone can find new artists to love because of the thought and personality put into each mix.  It’s as simple as logging on and lending an ear.