8tracks makes it easier to jam with friends on their new iOS app

8tracks, the social internet radio platform, is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds as it releases a new iOS app Friday that will make it easier for listeners to discover their favorite new tunes. The company now sees 5 million monthly active users.

8Tracks Launches iPhone App, Hears Sound of (VC) Money

With the launch of its first iPhone app today, 8tracks users can now listen to the company’s personally curated mixtape-style playlists on the go, but the company is also growing up. It’s raising capital, moving headquarters and hiring a full time staff.

8Tracks Rolls Playlists of the Stars

8tracks, a New York-based startup, has teamed up with Rolling Stone magazine. They are featuring some awesome playlists created by the likes of Annie Lennox, Bono and hip-hop artist, Cee Lo. This is exactly the kind of creative thinking/partnership established brands need.

DTV Switch Still Happening for Some Today

Well, today was supposed to be the big deadline for the national switch to digital television. While that date got pushed back to June 12, as of midnight tonight, 641 stations in the U.S. (36 percent of the country) will have shut off their analog broadcast signal.

The places where many or all of the major networks in that area are going digital include San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif.; Rockford, Ill.; Scranton, Pa.; and Burlington, Vt.

Today’s mini-switch will be a bellwether for the larger transition in June. According to Nielsen, as of Feb. 1, 5.1 percent of U.S. homes (5.8 million) weren’t ready for the DTV switch (though the National Association of Broadcasters disputes this figure as too high). The FCC’s DTV call center (1-888-CALL-FCC), along with some industry partners, has 4,300 operators standing by to offer assistance.

The delay till June will also give those on the wait-list for DTV converter box coupons a chance to receive and redeem them. The coupon program had run out of money, but the recent stimulus package that President Obama is expected to sign today has $640 million in additional funding.

Missing Muxtape? Try 8Tracks. It’s Better

Muxtape, a startup that quickly became a favorite of the Tumblr-set, has taken a nose dive, thanks to the machinations at RIAA. There are lot of folks bemoaning the loss of the service. To them, I have one word: 8Tracks.

I talked to the New York-based startup’s founder, David Porter, formerly of Live365, a few weeks ago and he walked me through the service. I have been using it sporadically and, well, it works better than Muxtape. (Thrillist thinks so, too — take their word over a Web geezer like us.) Essentially, 8tracks allows you to upload your own tracks and create a mix. Of course, you can create mixes from a library of tracks uploaded by others. Drag, drop, play!

How long before RIAA calls on these guys? They have applied for a small webcaster license, but that won’t be enough if the company gets popular. Peter Kafka says they they will “end up having to pay the same rates as the big guys, which basically translates to about 2 cents per listener, per hour this year, and will jump to 3 cents next year.” Porter remains undeterred!