8tracks claims to be an internet radio app offering “easy, free and mobile access to the best collection of playlists on the web”. The ‘free’ part of that statement is true…
When you think ‘music playlists’, chances are Spotify is the Android app that comes to mind. The folks over at 8tracks want to change your opinion however, by offering a service that operates somewhere between Mixcloud and the market leader in free music streaming.
The idea is simple: upload your mix, share it with friends and find similar DJs who share your taste in top notch tunes. The reality is quite a bit different and it’s largely down to a truly awful user interface.
In fact, we got so annoyed with 8tracks that we decided to compile our complaints into a Top 10 list:
The app won’t allow you to upload a mix of your own, not even by collating Soundcloud links as you can through the service’s website.
“Where is the search bar? Surely there is a search bar? Oh there it is, hidden it in the settings menu. What a grand idea!”
The app’s landing page hands you very few hints about how to use 8tracks and instead plumps for a long list of ridiculously titled mixes like ‘I have muscles in places you have never heard of’.
There are no tracklistings for any of the mixes. Why are there no tracklistings for any of the mixes?
According to 8track’s music license you can only skip two tracks per hour. Not the developer’s fault but still a pain in the arse.
The tagging system for mixes is infuriating. What does ‘getting ready, ‘happy’, ‘cheerful’ tell you about a mix? Other than the fact its creator is a bona fide moron.
When you ‘follow’ a DJ, all their mixes go into one feed with no subfolders thereby obliterating all attempts to organise 8tracks into a usable format.
On the home page mixes are ordered by those most recently uploaded. Why not by user rating?
The ‘Featured’ mixes tab, again hidden in the settings menu, only has four featured mixes.
There is a lot of amazing stuff on 8tracks, like this Sarah Records compilation, but you will almost certainly stumble on the good stuff by pure coincidence.
We honestly could go on but we’d rather not waste any more of your time. If you love music apps with enough design flaws to make your blood boil, then grab 8tarcks before any of the improvements it so desperately needs are implemented. If not, steer well clear.
The Bottom Line
A dreadful music app. Avoid.
Version reviewed 1.3.1
Requires Android 2.1 or higher