There are times when I feel as if life is passing me by. It’s an accumulation of what seem to be little, unrelated hints. For example, I don’t have a tattoo. They used to be the exception, now it seems to be a rule.
I still listen to my own purchased music on iTunes, despite the growing trend for subscription and streaming music. 8 tracks? I remember those and how quickly they could fill up a car’s glove compartment, and how poor I was after buying a few. Today, 8tracks means something else entirely.
Unbeknownst to me but ranking in the top few thousand websites in the world is 8tracks, a site dedicated to creating and discovering music playlists. Somehow that’s a thing. Mac users who know of 8tracks might appreciate 8tracks Radio, a free internet radio playlist tracker app. Or, based upon the tepid reviews, not. But free is free except free doesn’t do much (which might be why it’s free).
8tracks Radio seems simple enough to setup and use. 8tracks is derived from music playlists of eight tracks which are uploaded and shared with other 8tracks users, and has no relationship to 8 track tapes of yesteryear. Instead of using a browser window, use the 8tracks Radio app instead.
8tracks Radio in the browser is free but advertising supported. 8tracks Plus is also a subscription streaming music service which has a monthly (or six months) price tag; substantially less than Apple’s new Music service, but I couldn’t find a number for how many songs 8tracks has to stream.
Regardless, the app works acceptably well– if you pay the subscription fee– otherwise it’s just a free way to find 8tracks playlists from other subscribers, or share your own (assumes you’re already a subscriber) music list and upload (sounds a bit like Napster, no?) your own 8 track mix from your music library. You know, to share with others. Like Napster.
Lo and behold but to no surprise, there’s also an 8tracks iOS app for iPhone and iPad. Somehow that version is a bit different and the premium subscription is $19.99 a year, but can be obtained through iTunes as an in-app purchase.
I prefer the iPhone version to the Mac version and apparently so do 15,694 other iPhone users, with mostly four and five star reviews. Amazingly, and I promise not to use it extensively on my Watch, but the iPhone version also features an Apple Watch extension.
As it stands, 8tracks is an interesting way to find playlists and new artists, and it’s far less expensive annually than Apple Music, but it’s a different model in that music is shared online.