Spotify: Taking The Good The Bad Taking Them Both And There Ya Have…

21 Jul

If you want a bunch of logistical information about Spotify, such as costs or invite status, then you should totally go to one of the 8000 websites that can give you the information you need. I’m here to give some initial impressions now that I’ve actually used the service. I will try and update it after I’ve used it a few days.

In general:
I like being able to select full albums and add them to my queue.(take that last.fm) I don’t have to sit through any songs I hate(take that Pandora) Playlists.

Good: There really is a lot of music on Spotify.
I searched for a lot of different artists from an array of genre’s and was shockingly impressed. For example I started with post punk legends Young Marble Giants, only to find not only their masterwork Colossal Youth, but also a live album of the band that I’ve never actually seen before. The idea of clicking on an artist and instantly being transported to their whole discography all of which is listenable is impressive. I used Dexter Gordon as my test run(since he’s certainly famous, but not sooooo famous) and was shocked at the amount of albums that were pulled.
I will also props the section referred to as “Appears On”, which culls the array of guest appearances an artist has made onto the same page as their albums. This is ABSURDLY useful for hip-hop artists.
Bad
No Joanna Newsom=fail. There are certainly bands that are missing. Sometimes from an album that has every other song available(stupid licensing). Noteworthy internet moments such as the array of mixtapes are definitely not always a part of the service(For example some of the seminal Weezy mixtapes are there, but something like M.I.A.’s original Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtape is nowhere to be found)
In fact this whole idea of cloud music availability via licensing could set a dangerous precedent.(In fact I think iCloud could in fact end up a huge main offender in this realm) For example I decided an excellent test would be My Bloody Valentine. Now Spotify has both of their main albums and awesomely enough has both of the main Loveless era EPs. That’s all great, but what about those equally awesome Isn’t Anything era EPs…or maybe even Ecstacy and Wine? Nope those aren’t anywhere, in fact there’s no mention of them. Now I don’t expect Spotify to have everything, but as we transition to more of these services and digital distribution, what ends up missing could create a depressing state of affairs/mind wipe of intellectual information, which could make the idea of deleted/out of print albums look almost quaint.

Taking Both Good and Bad: Organization and search features
I like being able to make playlists I can share with both friends and the public. I also like the idea of making a collaborative playlist(excellent for parties). However, why can I not search for playlists directly through Spotify itself? Why should I have to go to another outside site or collection of sites(such as sharemyplaylist.com) to find some sweet Italo disco mix some dude in Holland made? While it links instantly from those sites, I should really be able to search by tags or genre directly in the Spotify search bar.
It’s easy to favorite songs, share them, and add them to your queue, but having to right click to do all of the above = fail. A few well-designed buttons Apple-style would make all of this even more streamlined and effective.
I would still love to see Spotify merge with Turntable.fm, because mixing the extensive database with the turntable platform would allow one to broadcast and party with friends all in one package.(Perhaps some actual turntable software for scratching and mixing would be awesome too.)
I doubt I’d pay a monthly fee to access the service, because I have a lot of albums and will continually get more. I also don’t need to access spotify on my phone since I have limited bandwidth. But I welcome the ad supported free version and recommend you check it out.

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One Response to “Spotify: Taking The Good The Bad Taking Them Both And There Ya Have…”

  1. Charlotte August 7, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    i agree they have the best sharing features. im definitely a fan of Spotify. you should check out this playlist it has alot of bands i think you’d like… http://bit.ly/nMEqAk

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