I don’t know if you’ve heard of Spotify or not, you’ve probably been stalking on facebook and seen some fb friends with an endlessly annoying list of songs they’ve listened to through spotify, well I want to tell you about it. There have been a few programs or websites that have had huge impacts in the music industry, Napster for one, itunes for another, Pandora has become a very popular online radio, Last.fm is my online radio of choice, but I think Spotify has the potential to be as big as any of these. That might be a big statement to make, but I stand by it.
I think it could become the Netflix of music, in a sense. The way people watch movies and listen to music is pretty different. With movies they’re widely advertised and showed in theater to the masses. There are many different places you can stream movies online now, and redboxes are popping up everywhere on street corners, and inside Wal-Marts that pop out movies so you can take them home for a day or two and watch them in the convenience of your home. If there’s a movie out there that you want to watch chances are that you can find it pretty easy. There are a few cases where you might be wanting to watch a foreign film, or a under-the-radar indie film. Now you’re redboxes aren’t likely to have those and you might not even be able to find anywhere to stream it, but chances are you can have Netflix mail it to your home. It might be a few days, but you’ll get it.
Music has always been a little different. In the past when there has been a song you want to listen to, and you want to listen to it at that moment, you’re going to have to own it. Whether you’ve bought a digital copy or you’re one of those crazy people like me that still buys cd’s, or you could use methods slightly less popular with the law, you need to have a copy of that song. I’ll tell you right now that it’s hard to purchase something when you don’t know what it’s going to be like. Sure you might have heard one or two of the singles somewhere, and you might even be able to listen to 30 second previews of the rest of the songs, but that still leaves a lot of time unaccounted for in a 40 minute album. I’ve been surprised many times, and many times it wasn’t a good surprise. It’s now becoming more of a common practice for bands to stream their albums ahead of their release which at least allows you to know what you’re getting yourself into, but these are usually only available for only a week or two. It’s a pretty tough life for someone who loves music, and tries to keep up with it all, but doesn’t do any pirating (feel sad for me).
You don’t have to feel sad anymore though. I found spotify. If you’ve used grooveshark you can think of that, but a lot cleaner and more organized. If you can picture what a grooveshark is, just think of being able to type in any song you want, and then click on that song to start listening to it. You can make whole lists of songs to listen to and it will play them to you in that order rather than spitting random songs that they think are similar to the one you wanted to listen to. It also syncs up with the files you already have on your computer so you can access those in the same program. If you’re a subscriber you can have this same goodness on your mobile phone. Now when I find something that looks interesting I don’t have to wait for a stream, or scour youtube I can listen to it immediately and decide right then and there whether it’s worth my time or I can forget about it. With the amount of music out there it’s already too easy for things to fall into a forgotten abyss. I don’t know if I can articulate how awesome I think this system is. If you’re a person that has never liked listening to the radio then I really think you should try out Spotify. It’s going to really hamper how many cd’s I buy, but I don’t feel bad at all because whatever I listen to royalties are sent to the artist and other’s who are responsible for creating the music. I don’t know any of the details of that arrangement, and I don’t really care all that much, but it makes me happy.
So there’s a plug for my new music playing software. I would also recommend the last.fm app for Spotify for music recommendations. I hope that was somewhat coherent and somewhat convincing to help you in your music listening experience and thanks for reading.