#52Tech Week 41 – Writing Playlists on 8Tracks

Whoops. Due to lack of consistent sleep (blame the puppy) I completely missed posting a 52Tech item last week. So here it is, belatedly.

I’m only recently filling my own writing times with music. Typically I prefer to write in silence (if you count the squawks of birds and hum of a pool cleaner as white noise). But for certain points in writing – including motivation for pre-writing phases or planning, then having a background playlist works too – and works well.

Having recently (and late to the ballgame) opened a Spotify account, I have now discovered 8Tracks, which is even better as there are a lot of pre-selected and shared writing mixes on the internet radio station.

I am easily distracted by lyrics, so tend to stick to choosing orchestral or instrumental tracks for mood, unless theming for a character or the book entirely. Finding soundtracks to movies of the right era can also work.

Unlike other music oriented social networks like Pandora or Spotify, 8Tracks offers no commercial interruption through your playlist. This means no audio interuptions to your listening pleasure, although the browser app and mobile apps do offer visual video adverts within the interface. The playlists are simply a listing of selected tracks, played through a Youtube widget on the browser page.
Users create free accounts and can listen to other user-created mixes, and create their own mixes. And it’s extremely popular with writers because of this.

Quite a few of the very large tumblr writing community also offer playlists to themes – and most use 8Track to put these together and share.  This “writing playlist” tag filter will show you some of the more recent falling into tumblr posts.

One of my favourite tumblr users for doing this is mkirin, whom I follow. The Question or suggestion box on Tumblr is often opened up for requested themes for a writing playlist, then once created, shared up on 8Tracks.  If you’re writing a fast-paced action-packed scene, here’s an example mkirin playlist called “No Hero” – don’t listen to it whilst driving. Something a little more peaceful? Try “Mermaid Magic“.  Other writers have created themed playlists not for genre, but for their characters.

Sign into 8Tracks using your email credentials, or via Google+ or Facebook signins, and share via Twitter, Tumblr, Google, Facebook or even Instagram. Follow users, pin your favourite playlists to your profile start screen, and heart playlists.

I chose to signup using my Google ID, and was immediately offered through Google Play to install the android 8Track app. You can also find 8Track apps for iOS, and for Windows 8.1+.

Link: 8Tracks.


52tech year#52Tech: This was Week 41 post in the #52tech goal – to investigate and share one technology post once a week for 2014. You can find all the posts indexed via the #52tech tag, or top menu option at hunterswritings.com

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