Nothing beats the experience of listening to a personally handcrafted mixtape. Sure, services like iTunes Genius and Pandora can make infinitely long playlists and even entire radio stations at the click of a button, but they lack the human aspect of handpicked music us humans crave sometimes. That’s where 8tracks comes in, self-described as “handcrafted internet radio by people who know and love music.” RJ Ciccaglione, who dabbles in product development for the start-up, believes that “music discovery should happen between humans, not algorithms, and 8tracks accomplishes just that.”
Currently boasting over 300,000 mixes, 8tracks’ playlists are all created by music-loving individuals and brands and delivered free of charge, without ads. Each set contains at least eight tracks (hence the name), and titles include everything from “Pumped” to “Dumped” depending on your mood. Top curators include publications like Pitchfork, Vice, Spin and Resident Advisor. Users can browse and search the site for mixes based on several factors, including artist, genre and free-form tags like “study,” “chill” and “party.” Songs can be ripped from Soundcloud or directly from your iTunes library, meaning all those unofficial electro remixes you’ve downloaded are totally fair game.
Already having released an iPhone app back in April, 8tracks recently expanded their mobile compatibility with a freshly minted Android app (with a B.o.B curated playlist to celebrate). “Of all of our mobile apps, the Android app presents an experience closest to the website,” Ciccaglione tells Hive. “We’ve baked sharing right into the app, making it easy to share the music you’ve discovered through Twitter and Facebook.” Indeed, 8tracks is inherently social, with a Twitter-like follower/following system to help you stay hip to new mixes, ones that will immediately be available wherever your smartphone is. [Download 8tracks for Android here.]