Handcrafted music programming trumps algorithms.

I came across the website 8tracks in my fall semester during finals. Of course I found it while on my "social media study break," but it actually helped my focus tremendously. I found the most popular playlist tagged with "study" and suddenly my paper became more interesting than before.

The great thing about 8tracks is that there are no ads, vs. Spotify, and you can search playlists by tag, rank from newest to most popular, so on and so forth. Each playlist has been handcrafted by someone, unlike Pandora which uses an algorithm. You can like playlists to save them to favorites, and mark songs you want to revisit, even when you're not listening to the playlist itself. It's a great way to find new music, and connect with people who have similar music tastes.

8track's Vision

"8tracks believes handcrafted music programming trumps algorithms. Think radio in the 1970s, mixtapes in the 1980s, and DJ culture of the 1990s through today. DJs share their talent in taste making, providing exposure for artists. Listeners get a unique blend of word-of-mouth sharing and radio programming — long the trusted means for music discovery — on a global scale."

It's great to listen to these playlists, because you can appreciate someone's taste in a new way. Sure its online, but I miss the days we used to make mixtapes for each other. It's amazing what music can help you do, especially when songs old and new are in an order you're not used to. I've found that at the gym, I stay on the treadmill longer when I am listening to new music. Studying had the same effect, and I found I was focusing more on my work than which song I was going to listen to next, or if I've checked Twitter in the past 10 minutes.

The following playlist was made by my sister. It is a compilation of beautiful soundtrack instrumentals. Including Jean-Yves ThibaudetJan A.P. Kaczmarek, & Danny Elfman. Perfect for listening under the stars, huddling in a christmas tent, or making your study session a bit more magical.