Remember the Muxtape craze of ’08, when music fans made online “mix tapes” and shared them online. No? That could be because Muxtape was sued and had to drop that functionality, but nonetheless, a concept was born: the online mix tape.
One of Muxtape’s most promising of successors, a web app called 8tracks, is still running strong, allowing anyone to upload a group of tracks (it doesn’t have to be eight) and share them online using Twitter or Facebook, or by embedding the mix in a web page.
So long as you follow a few simple rules — such as not posting an entire album as a free playlist — you can upload pretty much whatever you want. It’s all legal, because 8tracks qualifies for and pays a DMCA-compliant small webcaster license.
Now, that “oldest-school” of old-school music publications, Rolling Stone magazine, is in cahoots with 8tracks too, as reported by Giga Om on Tuesday.
Rolling Stone‘s Playlist Special features a slew of playlist from a rotating cast of 50 famous artists who have graced the pages of the magazine.
Sadly, those lists are unplayable.
8tracks remedies that problem by allowing Rolling Stone to list fully-playable versions of the playlists on its own 8tracks user page. This way, you can listen along as Cee Lo takes you on a tour of “the best dirty south hip-hop,” Dave Grohl assembles his favorite ’80s hardcore music, ?uestlove shares his favorite Prince tracks, and more.
These celebrity playlists offer some fantastic listening, much like the excellent “Under the Influence” series of artist-curated compilations. But the real lesson here is that anyone can create these handy web mixes and share them online — even to friends and relatives who lack technical sophistication, because all they have to do is hit Play.
For example, here’s a little 8tracks mix I put together a year ago:
(Discosure: This playlist photo is of my brother, Thomas Van Buskirk of Javelin, whose songs are featured in the mix, speaking with Mos Def after performing at a Damon Dash house party.)