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Less Traveled Roads

Aidan and I are headed to Rhinebeck this weekend, as usual, and we’ve got a new CD to listen to in the car.

I love having a new CD for this trip. We did it in 2012 and 2013, but since then I’ve always jumped-the-gun on the CD-making thing, and done it in September (I actually made my 2014 Fall CD in August!) and so the music hasn’t been as fresh.

This year, I forced myself to wait. Mostly. I finished it a week ago, so while it’s not hot off the presses, it’s still pretty new.

Sometimes I feel the need to pepper my mixes with a handful of appropriate older tunes. I almost did that this time, but as it turns out, I had enough material for a 100% new-to-me collection. So, no oldies this time.

Here’s the track list:
01: Amos Lee – Windows Are Rolled Down
02: Sonya Kitchell – Here To There
03: The Accidentals – Stitches and Seams
04: Alessi’s Ark – The Horse
05: The Saint Johns – Ohio
06: Gregory Alan Isakov – Time Will Tell
07: Hotel Lights – A.M. Slow Golden Hit
08: The Autumn Defense – Winterlight
09: The Shins – Fantasy Island
10: Neil Finn – Second Nature
11: Baz Corden – Electric Angel
12: Milky Chance – Clouds
13: Psapp – Part Like Waves
14: Kings Of Convenience – Boat Behind
15: Saint Saviour – Sad Kid
16: Denison Witmer – California Brown
17: Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop – The Lamb You Lost
18: Blitzen Trapper – Furr
19: Real Estate – Primitive
20: Liza Anne – Ireland
21: Mountains of the Moon – How I Leapt from the Stratosphere
22: Wiretree – Don’t Need it
23: Ivan & Alyosha – Oh This Love
24: Jake Bugg – Simple As This

And here it is for your listening pleasure:

Less Traveled Roads from lclarke522 on 8tracks Radio.

I have to ask: when you play one of these playlists through my website, are you able to listen in its entirety, or does it cut you off after a certain point?

The reason I ask is that 8tracks now imposes listening limits in the US. This is because of the sheer expense of music streaming rights in this country. It’s a real shame, because of all of the playlist-sharing services out there, 8tracks is the only one I know of that allows you to upload your own tracks and your own cover image.

This is HUGE for me. It means that I will never pick a song that is too obscure for them to find in their library. And it means that I can be super picky about the sound of my playlist because the tracks are all mine.

What I mean by that last point is this: whenever I create a playlist, I run all of the MP3 files through 3 programs:

  1. mptrim, which lets me remove silence from the beginning and ending of tracks.
  2. mp3gain, which lets me adjust the volume across all of the tracks so that it is consistent (this is especially important when mixing old and new tracks, because older MP3s are generally quieter than newer ones, and it’s annoying to listen to them next to each other like that).
  3. mp3tag, which lets me change the filenames, add comments, change the track numbers so that the songs automatically play in order, and assign the playlist cover image to the file.

I do all of these things for every playlist I make. It takes a lot longer, but it adds significantly to my listening pleasure. And I want to pass these benefits on to anyone who listens to my playlists, too. 8tracks lets me do that.

Full disclosure: I invested in 8tracks a few years ago, when they were looking for backers. It was only a small amount, and while I think that investing in an industry that is basically always losing money is maybe not the smartest thing I could do, I was happy to do a little something to help a service that I love. Bonus: it gave me pro status for life, which means no listening limits ever. Nice.

So, no, I am not a neutral third party here. But I do really think a pro membership to 8tracks is worth it, if you like discovering new music. When you subscribe a year at a time, it’s only $2.50/month. And sure, given that the playlists are all made by amateurs, there are some real stinkers on that site. But the 8tracks suggestion engine is pretty good. If you like my playlists, it should be able to recommend others based on those likes.

All of that said, I’d really like to know what you think of music streaming sites. What are your favorites? Do you pay for any? What do you like about them?

For me, it’s Google Play Music (I can use it to store my entire library in the cloud for free, but I also pay $9.99/month for access to their entire musical library which is totally worth it for a music-lover like me), and 8tracks.

So, how about you?

I’m open to sharing my playlists on other services in addition to 8tracks, if I can find one(s) that live in the sweet spot of having access to all of the music I want to share, and being easily accessible to a larger number of my readers.

So, give me some suggestions, or get yourself a trial subscription to 8tracks. Or both. I’m easy 😜

2 thoughts on “Less Traveled Roads

  1. I can only listen to w songs before it cuts me off. I tried on my iPad with the app and it is still the same

    1. Well, that is disappointing! Thanks for testing it out for me. I may have to find an alternative.

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