8tracks.com is an internet radio and social networking website revolving around the concept of streaming user-curated playlists consisting of at least 8 tracks. Users can create their own mixes, and / or they can create their own mixes. The site also has a subscription -based service, 8 tracks plus, although its features are still evolving. Currently, a $ 25 payment purchases a 6-month subscription, during which time Specific DJ-focused features are in the works, but will include profile customization, mix analytics, and unlimited uploads.

8tracks was recognized on Time magazine’s 2011 incarnation of its “50 Best Websites” List. [1] 8tracks has also received positive press in Wired , [2] CNET , [3] and Business Insider . [4]

History

8tracks Founder David Porter claims his idea for a “music-oriented social network” has been in development since 1999 during his time in business school at Berkeley . HOWEVER, this music-oriented social network Was founded in 2006 and lancé on August 8, 2008. One of Porter’s major influences for the project Was Napster , more SPECIFICALLY its “Hot List” feature, qui allowed users to add other users to their “hot List, “consequently giving them access to that user’s entire library. Also, after having spent 3 years prior to business school in London , Porter was fascinated by the social nature of the city’s electronic music scene in which DJ’s gained cult-like followings and increased their referral. Based on these concepts, Porter drafted a business plan entitled “Sampled & Sorted,” which is now the name of his blog and was able to garner some initial attention for the venture capital ventures. However, given his relative inexperience in the business world, Porter joined Live365 , gained an understanding of their business model, their strengths and weaknesses, and was able to refine his original proposal. With the rise of Web 2.0 , Porter finally decided to found 8tracks in the Fall of 2006, and after compiling a preliminary team, was able to launch the site on August 8, 2008. [2] Which is now the name of his blog and was able to garner some initial attention for the ventures capital ventures. However, given his relative inexperience in the business world, Porter joined Live365 , gained an understanding of their business model, their strengths and weaknesses, and was able to refine his original proposal. With the rise of Web 2.0 , Porter finally decided to found 8tracks in the Fall of 2006, and after compiling a preliminary team, was able to launch the site on August 8, 2008. [2] Which is now the name of his blog and was able to garner some initial attention for the ventures capital ventures. However, given his relative inexperience in the business world, Porter joined Live365 , gained an understanding of their business model, their strengths and weaknesses, and was able to refine his original proposal. With the rise of Web 2.0 , Porter finally decided to found 8tracks in the Fall of 2006, and after compiling a preliminary team, was able to launch the site on August 8, 2008. [2]

Usability

8tracks is a website that allows users to share and discover music in a simple, legal, and free way. [3] Listeners are able to search through existing mixes and / or as create their personal mixes. Member must have a minimum of eight songs, uploaded from their own music library or directly from the 8tracks library, per playlist. Users can search for mixes by individual artist, specific genre , or by using the ” cloud ” feature that sorts mixes by clickable, emotionally and / or psychographically descriptive tags (ie autumn, love, sad, eclectic). The songs in the playlist are revealed at a time, similar to other Internet radios, and listeners have three skips per playlist before they can “skip” onto a different mix, Where their three skips are restored. [5] Individual songs within a playlist each feature a direct link to iTunes . Users can “like” any mixes or “star” individual tracks within themselves in order to facilitate in the future, and can also “follow” other users, effectively subscribing to the mixes they create. Users also have the ability to embed the mixes they create and share through social networking sites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Tumblr . 8tracks also have the ability to reverse sync with these social networking sites to allow users to easily find their “friends” and expand their network . [5] Individual songs within a playlist each feature a direct link to iTunes . Users can “like” any mixes or “star” individual tracks within themselves in order to facilitate in the future, and can also “follow” other users, effectively subscribing to the mixes they create. Users also have the ability to embed the mixes they create and share through social networking sites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Tumblr . 8tracks also have the ability to reverse sync with these social networking sites to allow users to easily find their “friends” and expand their network . [5] Individual songs within a playlist each feature a direct link to iTunes . Users can “like” any mixes or “star” individual tracks within themselves in order to facilitate in the future, and can also “follow” other users, effectively subscribing to the mixes they create. Users also have the ability to embed the mixes they create and share through social networking sites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Tumblr . 8tracks also have the ability to reverse sync with these social networking sites to allow users to easily find their “friends” and expand their network . To be able to do it in the future, and also to “follow” other users, effectively subscribing to the mixes they create. Users also have the ability to embed the mixes they create and share through social networking sites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Tumblr . 8tracks also have the ability to reverse sync with these social networking sites to allow users to easily find their “friends” and expand their network . To be able to do it in the future, and also to “follow” other users, effectively subscribing to the mixes they create. Users also have the ability to embed the mixes they create and share through social networking sites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Tumblr . 8tracks also have the ability to reverse sync with these social networking sites to allow users to easily find their “friends” and expand their network . Users also have the ability to embed the mixes they create and share through social networking sites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Tumblr . 8tracks also have the ability to reverse sync with these social networking sites to allow users to easily find their “friends” and expand their network. Users also have the ability to embed the mixes they create and share through social networking sites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Tumblr . 8tracks also have the ability to reverse sync with these social networking sites to allow users to easily find their “friends” and expand their network .

8tracks also allows users to interact through smart phones . The iPhone App contains features similar to the web platform; Users can “heart” mixes and “star” songs they like through iTunes. The Mix Feed gives users a stream of all their favorite tracks, and they can search for any artist of interest, or find mixes that include them. Users can also browse by genre or mood tags (rock, sad, etc.). [6] The iPhone App allows for a new music discovery on the go as well. The Mix Feed gives users a stream of all their favorite users’ tracks, and they can search for any artist of interest, or find mixes that include them.

In November 2011, 8tracks made its debut in the Android Market, launching with more than 300,000 mixes. An Android 2.1 or higher device is required in order to use the app, but Marketplace stats reveal more than 10,000 downloads within days of release. [7]

Finally in April 2013, 8tracks made its debut in the Windows 8 App Store . Any Windows 8 Pro or RT device including desktop PCs and tablets are able to access the app. [8]

In February 2014 an 8tracks application for Xbox 360 was released. [9]

In early 2016 8tracks.com stopped offering streaming music outside the United States and Canada and instead started using YouTube videos. [10]

Technical Overview

8tracks’ development stack is built using Ruby on Rails running on Amazon AWS. For datastores, MySQL (on Amazon RDS) is used. Other database systems That are used include: Redis , Solr , MongoDB , and Graphite. [11] [12]

User types

Listeners

Everyone can listen to mixes for free. Unlike other music oriented social network such as Pandora or Spotify , 8tracks does not have commercial interruption. On the home page, listeners can either select multiple tags to sort the mixes or enter favorite artists to get recommended mixes. The range of tags spans from Folk to Dubstep and everything in between. Listeners can also comment on, favorite, and share mixes.

DJs

Anyone can be a DJ on 8tracks. The site allows users to add titles, images, descriptions, at least 2 tags, and at least 8 tracks when creating a playlist. They also have the option to mark mixes as unlisted, which makes them private, or not safe for work (NSFW), which hides them from users who opt into a filter. When a DJ uploads songs to the site, they appear in a list next to where the mix is ​​created. Between 2011 and 2015 there was also a list of tracks from SoundCloud provided by 8tracks for DJs to add to their mix which has since been discontinued. [13] DJs can share mixes via Google+ and Facebook. Each DJ has a profile that can be accessed by clicking on their name or avatar. This page displays the users basic information about their location, Or any other website related to them that would like to have featured. In addition, one can see all the mixes they’ve published, how many users follow them, and how many follow them. To add a DJs mixes to your feed, you can follow the DJ. Every time a DJ is followed their mixes are displayed in reverse chronological order. DJs have the ability to follow other users as well. [14]

Developers

With 8tracks, developers can build an 8tracks player. There is also a forum where developers can ask questions to peers or staff. [15] Both official and third-party apps are available for listeners to use. The API requires an API key and offers a variety of data that can be used to create an app. Official 8tracks apps are available for iPhone, Android, Windows 8.x and Mac. [16] In order to comply with copyright laws, developers must record and give the number of plays of each song to 8tracks.

Artists

By requesting for a unique artist tag, Artists are able to promote their music on 8tracks with a special account. They are able to create mixes with a combination of their own and others’ music, or to post full albums via a content-owner account. By using 8tracks to promote their music, fans have the chance to interact with the artists. Notable artists who use 8tracks to promote their music include: Metric, Bassnectar, Carolina Liar, and BoB [17]

Additionally, 8tracks have recently partnered with Feature.fm to allow artists to promote their songs natively inside of 8tracks by playing their songs to listeners who are currently listening to the artist’s style of music.

Legality

8tracks is a legal and functional music-sharing network due to Their compulsory license with ASCAP , BMI , and SESAC for the public performance of musical works. This license allows non-interactive webcasters to use any music or recordings that have been released to the public.

There are various ways in which 8tracks ensures its compliance with legal restrictions:

  • 8tracks follow specific programming rules that limit the number of songs that may be transmitted from any one album or any recording artist.
  • Negotiations to directly license music from participating independent record labels and artists.
  • 8tracks pays a royalty rate in two different ways. They first negotiate with Representatives of copyright owners to suit les And Then pursuant to a proceeding Conducted By the three judges on the Copyright Royalty Board . ASCAP, BMI , and SECAC . This portion of revenue includes 3% to 5% of total revenues.
  • Reports to the copyright owners of each song used by the Copyright Board. As a result, royalties may be fairly allocated and distributed to individual copyright owners and recording artists. [18] [19]

Partnerships

8tracks have begun to offer their user-curated playlist to brands looking to open channels of communication with potential consumers through “music-centric interactive marketing ” campaigns. For instance, a store or a community store. Threadless partner with a host of credentials and a curator of their favorite mix wins a $ 50 gift certificate. [20] to Promote Their new retro PIIQ headphones, Sony ran a contest in conjunction with fashion website Lookbook Where users created mixes representative of “A Day in the Life (of You)” and Those with The Most likes Won fashion and / or Music-related prizes. [21] Rolling Stone also added an interactive element to the release of its yearly “Playlist Issue” by compiling genre-specific celebrity- and artist-curated playlists that were hosted through the magazine’s 8-page Rolling Stone website. This integrated media approach was significant in that it allowed otherwise heavily copyrighted music to be streamed legally. Notable curators included Tom Petty , Elton John , Garfunkel Art , Coldplay’s Chris Martin , and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich . [22] [23] [24] [25] Finally, California hotel chain Joie de Vivre and its partners offered a variety of prizes to DJs who published and produced the most likes on the roads. [26]

8tracks HAS partnered with Feature.fm to offer artists the Ability to Play Their songs as “sponsored tracks” to People Who are listening to playlists of the artist’s style of music.

Online radio

8tracks and other Internet radio sites, such as Pandora , allow users to explore a variety of songs and artists based on their musical preferences. Listeners are able to discover new artists and songs that they have never encountered otherwise. Based on the users music interest, these Internet radio stations randomly select songs that are similar to the users’ initial choice. Like Pandora, 8tracks’ music license limits the number of songs that users can skip every hour. [27]

References

  1. Jump up^ Harry McCracken (16 August 2011). “50 Best Websites of 2011” . TIME . Retrieved 2011-09-10 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Eliot Van Buskirk (26 August 2008). “Interview: David Porter, Founder of 8tracks” . Wired (magazine) . Retrieved 2011-09-12 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:b Spencer Pangborn (9 November 2010). “The top 7 reasons why you should listen to 8tracks.com” . CNET Asia . Retrieved 2011-09-10 .
  4. Jump up^ Peter Kafka (16 August 2008). “8tracks: A Free, Legal Music Service We Love” . Business Insider . Retrieved 2011-09-15 .
  5. Jump up^ “The 3 Reasons Why You Should Use 8tracks Instead of Pandora” . The Nosebleeds. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 2015-02-03 .
  6. Jump up^ Eliot Van Buskirk (April 11, 2011). “8tracks Brings ‘Mixtape’ Sharing to iPhone” . Evolver.FM . Retrieved 2011-09-14 .
  7. Jump up^ 8tracks (12 November 2011). “8tracks” . EGoogle . Retrieved 2011-11-12 .
  8. Jump up^ 8tracks Inc. “8tracks radio” . Microsoft . Retrieved 2013-05-19 .
  9. Jump up^ https://techcrunch.com/2014/02/27/8tracks-reaches-8-million-monthly-active-users-launches-xbox-360-app/
  10. Jump up^ A change in our international streaming
  11. Jump up^ Peter Bui. “8tracks architecture” . Quora . Retrieved 2015-12-31 .
  12. Jump up^ Peter Bui. “Scaling the 8tracks Music API” . Medium . Retrieved 2015-12-31 .
  13. Jump up^ David Johnson-Igra (July 24, 2015). “SoundCloud Transition” . Retrieved 2015-07-24 .
  14. Jump up^ 8tracks: Djs
  15. Jump up^ 8Tracks: Developers
  16. Jump up^ 8Tracks: Apps
  17. Jump up^ 8Tracks: Artists.
  18. Jump up^ “8tracks: Licensing” . 8tracks . Retrieved 2011-09-12 .
  19. Jump up^ “8tracks: Muxtape Without the Legal Muckiness” . The Inquisitr. 21 August 2008 . Retrieved 2011-09-10 .
  20. Jump up^ 8tracks (14 May 2011). “Make a mix for Threadless” . Retrieved 2011-09-13 .
  21. Jump up^ 8tracks. ” ” A Day in the Life “: From 8tracks & PIIQ Headphones” . Retrieved 2011-09-13 .
  22. Jump up^ Eliot Van Buskirk (23 November 2010). “8Tracks’ Web App MakesRolling Stone’s Celebrity Playlists Playlists” . Evolver.FM . Retrieved 2011-09-16 .
  23. Jump up^ Rolling Stone. “Rolling Stone 8tracks Profile” . Retrieved 2011-11-02 .
  24. Jump up^ “Rolling Stone and 8tracks – The Playlist Special” . 8tracks. 23 November 2010 . Retrieved 2011-11-02 .
  25. Jump up^ Scott Steinberg (28 December 2010). “Create Your Own Best of 2010 Playlist on 8Tracks.com” . 8tracks . Retrieved 2011-11-02 .
  26. Jump up^ “Enter the Road Trippin ‘California Mix Contest!” . 8tracks . Retrieved 2011-11-02 .
  27. Jump up^ ” ‘ 8tracks’ allows users to create, share mixes . 27 September 2011 . Retrieved 2011-11-01 .

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