Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spotify - all you can eat, baby.

Artist: Charla Hayen
Sit through previews at the movie theater.

Step into an elevator.

Walk into a grocery store.

Flip channels on TV.

Wait on hold.

Sometimes it's filler you don't even notice...just cheesy muzak or classical strings droning in the background (or maybe you do notice it and just try to drown it out). Other times, though, you'll catch a lyric, a rising melody, and you're transported to another time and place.

I love music so much that I always want to know what other people are listening to because I feel like I can tell something about them by knowing (a) just how into music they really are and (b) what music they like. In fact, instead of business cards, I wish we'd all carry "My Top Ten Songs of All Time" around as calling cards. If nothing else, it would be an interesting way to learn something new about a friend, and maybe score some new music.

Over the years, I've listened on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD, and iTunes. But, I've lost my library a time or two along the way and it sucks. Has that ever happened to you? If so, you know it's the worst.

Seems today, all you need is an internet connection to listen to your favorite tunes (I sound like a geriatric even writing that sentence, but it's true) and the very best resource to do that is Spotify. If you're not using it - check. it. out. I'm serious. Don't keep reading - go sign up for it and get your playlists going (and then share them with me and I'll do likewise!)

My free trial period to Spotify's Premium service ended yesterday. I didn't even notice, though, because as soon as I spent a week playing with the program, surfing music, and creating playlists - I was hooked. I insta-signed up to keep my Premium service going (at a cost of $10/mo, $120/year) and I'm not looking back. Forward, maybe, because who knows how we'll listen to music five years from now, but I really don't see how Spotify will or can be topped.

iTunes is adopting a similar approach to storage via its iCloud service, but unlike Spotify (and yes I know this is a technicality given that I am paying $10/mo for Spotify), if you want to listen to the entirety of a song via iTunes, you pretty much have to own it, and to "own" (which is laughable, because if your device crashes, there goes what you supposedly owned, unless it was completely and religiously backed-up) it, you have to pay for it.

With Spotify, yes (if you go the Premium route) you'll pay $10/mo for your music, BUT it's all you can eat, baby, and any time/any where. And, if you eat like me, you know those $1 singles for new tunes that you want to add to your catalog anytime you get bored with what you're hearing can add up dangerously quick.

Even if you don't want to go that route, but like the idea of free and legal music - you can do the free version of Spotify. That means, so long as you have an internet connection, you can listen to your music. With the Premium, you get all that whether you have the connection or not.

The greatest thing about it, besides all the music (and sure, there are some catalogs not yet available, but if the Beatles can eventually get to iTunes, the White Stripes will eventually make it to Spotify) is that it syncs - like magic - with my mobile device AND my iTunes, and across every platform on which I listen to music!

In other words - Spotify is replacing my iTunes. I'm sure iTunes will serve as a complement, but seriously - unless it's music I've just got to have and it's not on Spotify (yet), I really just don't see the need to try to use them both.

Seriously, people. It's amazing.

I didn't start this post wanting to go on and on about Spotify, but maybe there's someone out there who's catalog just crashed. If that's you - check it out, you won't be sorry.


  1. Another good post. Yes I've had Itunes library crash 2x! Will check out Spotify. Current Music right now...JJ Grey and Mofro. One of my favs. Have seen them twice @ Fillmore in SF. Keep up the good work.


  2. Dude, where have you been all my life???? I've never heard of Spotify...WTF??? I'm all over that.

    Current music...Gary Clark Jr...I can't stop watching his live version of Bright Lights on Youtube.

    My top 10 songs of all time?

    Stop - Lonnie Mack
    What I like About You - The Romantics
    Better Now - Collective Soul
    Dirty Pool - Stevie Ray Vaughan
    I'm Leaving You(commit a crime) Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Paint It Black - Stones
    La Grange - ZZ Top
    miss sarajevo - Pavarotti and Bono

    (OMG I only have 2 left)

    Righteously - Lucinda Williams

    (this is the hardest thing I've ever done...only TEN songs???)

    Something or anything by Marty Robbins

    *sigh* I'm so stressed now, having to pick TEN songs.....

  3. I guess this service would be good for listening to guilty pleasure items that you could never bring yourself to buy.

  4. Cool calling card idea. Lately I love listening to Telephone Games by Jack & White.

  5. @Brian - hey, thank you, sir! I'll be checking out JJ Grey and Mofro, sounds interesting.

    @Terry - I know!! That was fun last night sharing music. ;-)

    @Laoch - you're a music lover, you should check it out. Also - as a premium user, I am still paying for music but am doing it monthly as opposed to every time I choose to hear a song. I did find out a really big drawback to the program yesterday though, and that's a requirement (newly required) by Spotify that if you want to sign up, you must have a FaceBook account. This will turn off a lot of potential users, I'm sure. That wasn't required of me when I joined and I didn't know about it when I posted yesterday. Oh far, I'm still high on it. Let me know if you check it out?

    @dbs - yes, I'd love music calling cards instead of "business" cards. I'll be checking out James and White, thanks for the tip!


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