Feb 24 AT 1:34 PM Clark Wimberly 37 Comments

DatPiff Mobile: streaming mixtape heaven.

At the risk of sounding like a goober, I’m going to talk today about something I don’t totally understand: mixtape culture. I’m sure those of you in the know will poke fun at me, but for those that don’t, we’ve got nerds like me trying to make sense of it all.

The mixtape has long-since evolved past the process of throwing some tracks together for a friend. Mixtapes can be complete underground albums- featuring original music, new lyrics, or even completely different tracks. There isn’t really a single way to define a mixtape so I’ll just say it’s like the music you already know and love, just different.

Enter DatPiff, one of the largest mixtape communities online. I’ve been using the website for some time now but a few weeks ago was stoked to discover a full-blown Android app available in the market.

The app offers complete access to the DatPiff mixtape library via both streaming audio and full album downloads. The mixtapes available vary wildly in style- they’ve got brand new mixes from artists currently on the radio and they’ve got albums from years back by someone you’ve never heard of. There are mashup mixes, cramming two different artists into a single album. There are screwed and chopped mixes, altering the original audio to create new sounds. If you’re looking for something different to listen to, you’ll find it on DatPiff.

With a solid connection, the streaming audio sounds great and has worked almost perfectly in all tests. DatPiff also gives you the option of downloading MP3s straight to the SD card for playback during times with little or no data connection.

The app has an interesting persistent player interface, always keeping the currently playing album in a tab near the bottom of the screen. The UI could be a bit cleaner, but the functionality is nice. You can jump from mix to mix while maintaining play control of the original selection. Currently playing tracks are also listed in the notification bar for easy access while in other apps all together.

Some features in the DatPiff app require user registration, but overall it was a pretty painless process. Being a registered user allows you to add mixtapes to your favorites (for later listening with the app or website) and gives you five album downloads per day. It’s not exactly unlimited, but if you’re on the hunt for more than five albums per day you might want to look elsewhere for a subscription service. Without an account you can still stream all the music you want, you’ll just get some extra goodies if you take the few minutes to register.

On top of the music, DatPiff has a bunch of videos and news, neither of which I’ve investigated too far. I’ve mainly come for the music and this thing delivers big time. It quickly earned a spot on my homescreen and has steadily been contributing awesome tracks to my permanent library.

 

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Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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