8tracks – Huge & Eclectic mix of Music to discover in this Streaming Music app
Feb 9, 2012 10:54 AM –
8tracks is a cool alternative to ‘smart’ radio-style music apps like Pandora. Essentially, it’s like a music player you trust DJs to control for you or a radio stream you control yourself… Blissfully easy to use and chock full of cool music and customisation, 8track redefines the classic notion of mix tapes and DJs. While the app itself lets you follow your favourite contributors and browse mixes, you can also build your own mixes on the 8track website. A brilliant app for both music discovery and sharing your favourite tracks, 8tracks is superb for any fan of music.
Tested on: HTC Desire HD
Pros & Cons:
- Huge and eclectic mix of genres and artists!
- Cool UI!
- Responsive and fast!
- Great sound quality!
- Easy to search and find just what you’re looking for!
If you like music, you should perhaps have a look at 8tracks. Similar in many ways to Pandora, 8tracks lets you find mixes of music based on whichever genre or tag you choose. If you can’t get enough Ska, just search for that or if you dig the sound of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers (the popular bagpipe troupe) they’re simple to find.
Online users can build their own mixes of favourite songs or related tracks and upload that list as a ‘mix’. In-app these can then be found, listened to, favourited and saved. You can subscribe to different users (DJ’s) and check out their latest mixes as they release them. The app is incredibly responsive, especially over a Wi-Fi network.
While music is the key here, the user interface can still make or break an app. 8tracks’ UI is superb- fast, smooth and very intuitive. The design is fresh and cool to use. I also noted that the sound quality is superb, not far removed from having the track already on your device. The in-app music player is placed at the bottom of the screen so it’s immediately accessible even if you are searching elsewhere. It’s that level of intuition that makes the app very user-friendly and fun.
You can skip through tracks if you don’t want to listen to them, but you can only do this so many times per hour due to licensing constraints. Sadly you can’t really see what tracks are on the mix until you play through them. You can however ‘star’ songs and mixes you like and they are saved under your favourites.
The only issue I really noticed with 8tracks was only the very odd freeze, and I note from the Android Market that a few other users do too. This isn’t a massive issue and it thankfully didn’t occur very often. While I really love these kind of music streaming apps, you obviously need to be in an area where you have sufficient signal to do so. If you live in a city with good coverage, the app is very usable wherever you are, however, if you live out in the country where signal is a little harder to come by, apps like 8tracks will never replace the music you can host on your device.
8tracks – Home
8tracks – Featured mixes
8tracks – All mixes
8tracks – Mid-mix 1
8tracks – Mid-mix 2
8tracks – If you like a genre of music, it’s probably here…
8tracks – Search
8tracks – Search results
8tracks – Login
8tracks – User profile
8tracks – Liked
8tracks – Settings
If you like exploring new music, or sharing your favourite tunes with friends, 8tracks is a very cool and discerning service. It might not be the most original, but if you want an alternative to the likes of Pandora, this is a brilliant option. The social element is very cool and being able to follow certain DJs is a great way to make your listening a social affair. Contributors include Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, so you can be guaranteed of some cutting edge music if you look for it.
Ease of Use:
8tracks is extremely simple to use. The search feature can be found just by pressing your devices menu button so searching is always accessible. There are various tabs which are easy to use in order to access your ‘Home’ (subscribed mixes list), ‘Liked’ (favourites) and ‘All’ (the sites front page), so it is very easy navigate.
Obviously this depends on how much you like listening to music, but if you like discovering new tracks or sharing your own favourites, this could easily become something you use daily.
The interface is incredibly slick and responsive. Screen transitions are smooth, fast and have polished effects- it just feels very qualitative throughout.
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Categorised in: Music
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