10 Favorite Summer Love Playlists


For most of us in the northern hemisphere, summer is over. Well, 8tracks Team excluded, for two awesome reasons, one more obvious than the other. For starters, we’re located in San Francisco, so for us Indian Summer has just begun. (Woohoo!!!) Secondly, when you are surrounded by music as much as we are, summer is always in your heart.

 

But we know that for many of you it’s not as easy. You’re probably back at school, trying hard to focus on homework, while your tan still reminds you of the great memories you made over the summer summer. You’d rather be back on that white sand beach, with that sweet boy or girl you fell in love with, partying in Southeast Asia, or dancing your heart out at your favorite music festival.

 

Knowing how much you miss all that, we’ve put together a collection with some of our favorite Summer 2014 playlists on 8tracks. Please enjoy!

 

1. We’d rather be there too…

“Ten tracks including music by BLEACHERS, C2C, and Clean Bandit.”

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Android 3.0 is here!


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Today we’re beyond excited to unveil the latest advancement in playlist technology: 8tracks 3.0 on Android, available as of today on Google Play. Coming on the heels of a complete redesign of our iPhone, iPad, and Xbox apps earlier this year, the new release features a similar improvement of the design and navigation we brought to those apps. This means we officially have a complete roster of new apps in time for the new school year, which experts predict will improve student test scores by as much as 1000%.

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10 Indie Wedding Playlists


DIY indie weddings are all the rage now and are often more affordable than traditional weddings. Whether located at a barn, a farmhouse or simply outdoors, the venue and the music at an indie wedding are a match made in heaven, just like the bride and the groom.

We are in the middle of the wedding season and many of us have either attended a wedding recently or are planning (or dreaming of) our own soon. Choosing the right wedding music can be challenging because you want to make sure all guests have a good time, and hear songs that make them want to dance. But you also want to avoid some of the more mainstream, cliche wedding songs.

Whether you are in the middle of planning yours or just dreaming about what it would be like (a girl can dream, right?), we are here to help you create the wedding soundtrack of your dreams. We’ve put together a list with some of the best Indie Wedding Playlists on 8tracks. We hope they inspire you to make your own playlist, perhaps using some of the songs you (re)discovered by listening to the ones recommended below:

1. We do, we do, we do

“A collection of heartfelt love songs fit for any whimsical, indie, rustic, or whatever wedding.”

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Announcing Moshi Summer Sound Winners!


Two weeks ago we launched a playlist challenge where we asked you to create and share the best summer vibes playlist. The four winners would receive an awesome prize pack courtesy of Moshi, maker of beautifully designed earbuds and other really cool tech accessories. And while we know you guys love making playlists, we weren’t ready for such an overwhelming response: 249 playlists were carefully curated with lots of love and attention to detail. From stunning cover images, to themed playlists, to witty titles, this challenge demonstrated once again how passionate and creative our community is.

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We had a hard time picking the winners. In our eyes, everyone who took the time to create and submit a playlist is a winner. We ended up selecting two playlists that won by popular vote and two that won the hearts of our staff members. Without further ado, the four winning playlists are:

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Summer Sound Mix Challenge


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Contrary to what Lana Del Ray thinks, summertime is not all about sadness. We’re believers in a summer full of sun, swim and tunes. Whether you’re heading to Bonnaroo, EDC, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, or your local music festival, we’ve got you covered with a Summer Sound Pack giveaway from our friends at Moshi. Moshi makes some sweet earbuds and other tech accessories, and they’ve put together a pretty solid collection of gear for some lucky 8tracks DJs.

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The new iPhone app is here


Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of our brand-new “3.0” version of 8tracks on iOS. The new app makes it easy to find the playlists you’ll enjoy most, wherever you may be. We think you’ll love it.

We fully re-designed the app to be bold and beautiful, incorporating both iOS 7 standards and numerous performance enhancements. You can now more readily pick playlists based on what you’re doing (e.g. study, workout, party, sleep) and how you’re feeling (e.g. happy, sad, love, mellow) in combination with a deep selection of genres and artists, a fundamental component of 8tracks since its launch on 8/8/8. Check out some of our favorite updates below.

 

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The new home screen features the Timeline, showing where you last left off; you can swipe right to reveal your playlist history or left to see upcoming playlists. Below it you’ll find your shortcuts, a personalized list of tag combinations and other playlist sets you tune into most frequently. The playlist page has also been redesigned to give you a clearer view of the artwork and easier access to the track listing.

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Community: The Crown Jewel of 8tracks


Yesterday we launched 8tracks Forums, allowing our community of over 11 million registered listeners to communicate with one another in a more personal way. We’ve long allowed listeners to comment on mixes to show gratitude or engage DJs in a dialogue around the music:

mix commentLast year, some of our most active community members formed a group on Facebook — “8tracks Friends” — to facilitate shared conversations and support real-world friendships among group members. These weren’t the only listeners looking to build friendships with other 8tracks listeners and DJs, and we’ve received a growing number of requests for private messaging.

As we began to think about a way to encourage interactions between members of the 8tracks community, we discovered Discourse, a dynamic, open source forum and private messaging platform that can be branched and personalized. Discourse gives us a smart way to facilitate conversations between — and speak directly with — the folks who care most about 8tracks, an essential step to making 8tracks the best music sharing community.

And that community is going to meet up IRL! This Friday, members of the original 8tracks Friends group on Facebook will be flying into San Francisco from around the country to meet us and one another in person for the first time. We’re beyond excited.

Finally, we’d like to welcome and introduce you to Monica Semergiu, who will lead 8tracks’ community building efforts as our Community Manager. As we grow and evolve, it’s important for us to remember and support our community, the crown jewel of 8tracks and a daily reminder of why we do what we do.

8tracks ❤s OpenAura


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Music listeners today have unprecedented access to a deep catalog of music across myriad genres from ‘round the world, thanks to inexpensive tools for production and free distribution on the internet. But with unlimited offerings on tap, it’s not always easy to find new music you love, much less learn about the creators behind that music along the way.

When you choose an 8tracks playlist based on a theme or genre, you’re served a wide variety of tracks by different artists, and you likely discover more music than you do on other music services. However, to support this discovery experience, we’d like to help you learn more about the artists themselves, rather than letting the songs become merely a cog in a themed radio station.

Accordingly, we announced this week that we’re tapping OpenAura’s Artist Info API to deliver deep, accurate and current information about artists big and small, offered up through our pervasive player.  Using OpenAura’s API, we tap into a central source of information on artists, one which allows artists to control their online identity and earn revenue from that content. Artist bios and images are updated and refined over time, and independent artists have an equal opportunity for representation.

We view 8tracks as essentially a “matchmaking” platform for listeners and artists, as mediated by our DJ community, and so we’re particularly excited to leverage OpenAura to help further the bonds between music creator and music consumer.

8tracks in the living room


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After months of work, we’re excited to announce the 8tracks Xbox app. There are a lot of connected devices and related hardware for the home — Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast, to name a few — but 8tracks on the Xbox is a particularly good fit.

First, Xbox is the most popular set-top box in the US. More than 48m people have signed up for Xbox Live — far more than Apple TV (13m) and Roku (5m).

Second, nearly half of our audience is aged 18-24. By comparison, 51% of college males or 31% of all college students own an Xbox. Existing 8tracks listeners can now tune in from a familiar device, and new listeners can discover us through their Xbox.

As on 8tracks’ website and apps, Xbox listeners can browse playlists by genre, activity and mood tags.  Beyond liking mixes and following DJs, listeners on Xbox can navigate the app with voice commands, hand gestures (using the Kinect), and the good old-fashioned controller.

If you have an Xbox, please download the 8tracks app and enjoy. Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to spreading the 8tracks love on future platforms. For now, it’s game on.

Building a single-page app, one page at time


Just as the idea of a playlist extends a musical moment beyond the end of a song, a web application enables a rich browsing experience that isn’t bordered by page refreshes every time you interact with the screen. This idea is particularly important for music websites where audio continuity is the paramount consideration. In a choice between interrupting your music or seeing what’s on another page, you’ll almost invariably choose to keep listening. In the past we’ve protected users from unwanted pauses by buffering clicks to new pages with this helpful popup:

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Nonetheless, the value of a music discovery service is limited by being unable to explore the site while you’re listening. From the very first version of 8tracks, we’ve wanted to enable continuous playback while keeping the entire site accessible. But it’s only recently that more robust web technology has become widespread and we were able to implement our “pervasive player” in a way that wasn’t hacked together or only available on one platform. In particular with the launch of the Next Soundcloud, we saw much that we could learn from and also some ideas to improve upon in our own transition.

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