I’m an avid Spotify listener. I have told people, multiple times, that if needed to cut back on my subscriptions, Spotify would be the last to go (sorry, Erin). It really has changed the way that I listen to music.
In the past, if I wanted to explore something random—say, for instance, a jazzy track that I heard on the NBA 2k13 soundtrack—I could do a few things:
- Google it, and try to find a copy that I could buy
- Google it for .mp3’s I might be able to download (a bit sketchy)
- Use a torrent search to try and download it (pretty sketchy)
- Add it to the mental list of albums to try and buy someday in a record store (legit, except, hello, memory)
- Get it on eMusic, a service which was great until they began systematically limiting downloads more and more.
And so I ended up either getting things in a sketchy way or, basically, forgetting about it.
Now, I can just find it on Spotify. This was possible with Rhapsody, but Spotify’s professed love for amping up their servers so that it seems like the files are all local really works.
Over the course of this site’s existence, I wrote a draft of a post that talked about bands giving music away (a la Radiohead and the The Depreciation Guild ), and I think that a looong time ago I wrote about how my musical taste was, like many of us, shifting to the single, because of my Kubrickian iPod.
Well, Spotify changed the game again for me, and maybe this is another snapshot of that. I have enough gadgets—and Android is popular enough now—that I can pretty much listen not to just to my music, but all of the music I can think of all the time (as long as I have a connection)(pro-tip: as long as you plan ahead, you can also download songs from Spotify. No connection needed!).
Oddly, this is leading to me moving more towards built in Spotify apps (to help me discover bands) or—get this—album listens.
As someone with limited exposure to GBV, can't decide if Spotify is made for a band like them, or if getting the actual release is crucial.
— J Wintr'y (@jwithy) April 2, 2013
I still don’t know the answer to my Guided By Voices question. Maybe the act of flipping the record, instead of searching in a text box, really does get me to be able to get into GBV more.
Or maybe I would never have bothered if I hadn’t decided to pay $10/month for all of the things.