Discovering new music has always been important to me. Lately, though, I’ve been fairly lax about it. I listen to NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast(1) but that’s about it. And frankly, most of the time when something I was interested in is released, I don’t buy it because I want to listen to more than just that one song.(2)
Back in the day I had friends who would toss new music my way. But technology has – intentionally – made sharing music difficult. This is partially due to the record-label-execs and partially due to Lars “For my seventh house I had to settle for the next-to-top-of-the-line golden latrine and I’m really pissed about it” Ulrich, but also due to the tech design itself. I have all my songs on my computer and, yes, I can burn a CD for someone. But I can’t just pop a cassette or CD out of my player and toss it to my buddy while I pop his tape into my Walkman. This was a big factor of listening to music when I was younger. It’s definitely something I miss and hinders my ability to discover new tunes.
I used to rely on Pandora, but, let’s face it, Pandora sucks. It’s the RIM of the internet-radio world.(3) The ads are terrorizing and the sound quality sucks. And no matter where you start, every playlist ever will eventually lead to Jack Johnson.(4) Slacker radio is about the same, though with less JaJo because, frankly, it’d be hard to play more.
Many of my friends use Spotify. Spotify and I already had one angry dustup a few months ago. Curious, I’d installed it on my Mac only to discover that it basically makes all of my music available to me. Which is what I use iTunes for. So…Oh but okay: If I pay $9.99 per month, I can sync playlists across my devices. Well but see I pay $24.99 per year to do the same thing through iTunes Match. So…
Yeah, I failed to see the point. Plus I was upset that Spotify began indexing my music without asking permission. Why the hell would I want two programs that do exactly the same thing taking up space on my hard drive? I already use and love iTunes. I kinda need it for lots of things anyway. So why wouldn’t I use it?
Seeing that I’d taken an obvious misstep, I set about trying to delete my Spotify account. This was ridiculous. There was no button I could simply click. I had to email someone somewhere at Spotify and ask that they delete my account. This did not improve my perception of the service.
Lately though I’d heard about their new Spotify Radio offering, which is essentially a free service not that different from Pandora though presumably it sucks less.(5) Okay. This sounded like what I was after: a simple service that doesn’t suck too much and lets me discover new music.
So I went to sign up, and this is what happened:
For starters, I’m not “90 seconds away from a world of music.” I have 1400 hundred albums right here on the very computer I’m attempting to use to sign up for your service. I am literally one second away from a world of music. Unless world has some quantity connotation of which I’m not aware, you’re blurring reality in an attempt to get me to use your service.
But more importantly: I hate Facebook. Like, you know people really hate stuff. The KKK, maybe. BP Oil. Ke$ha. It’s like that, my hate is, but to the googolplex power. I don’t know anyone who hates anything as much as I hate Facebook.(6) I don’t quit it entirely largely so I can see pictures of my infant nephew and to keep in contact with a handful of faraway friends. But I stay away from it as much as I can. Any Facebook-type post I now post to Tumblr(7) and have Tumblr share a link to it on Facebook. At most I check Facebook once per day, and feel terribly dirty every time I do.
So, no, I do not want to use my Facebook account to access anything else. Spotify doesn’t give me a choice, however. I either use Facebook or I don’t use Spotify.
So guess who can go suck it, Spotify? Yep, that’d be you.
Oh and also, this is interesting. It’s posted right there on the same page that tells me I have to use Facebook to sign up for Spotify:
Big surprise, right? But what I really want to know is: who left out the punctuation? Was it Spotify or was it Zuckerberg? Zuck got into Harvard so I’m inclined to believe he knows to throw in a period or an exclamation point where warranted. Then again, he’s been hanging out with Sean Parker for years and that sort of thing has to bring you down a few IQ points. As for Spotify, I know they’re a British company but I’m pretty sure they use punctuation over there. I’ve gotten well-punctuated emails from English friends I can submit as evidence.(8)
Whatever the case, my involvement with Spotify will be precisely like the involvement of the punctuation at the end of that sentence: non-existent.
- Even though I’m convinced that listening to NPR ages you before your time. Like for every minute you listen to NPR you age 1 minute, 45 seconds or something like that. Down the road we’ll say, “Bob sure looks old for only being 55.” “Oh, well, he’s more like 63 in NPR years.” “Oh I see. Poor guy.”
- Well and what a couple of audiophile windbag elitists had to say about it.
- Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones. They’re in a bargain bin somewhere with companies like K-Mart that sit around talking about how they just really didn’t think Apple/Walmart were all that big a deal.
- Hence my Jack Johnson Theory of Music Reductivity: If you keep making music that appeals to the greatest number of people and you reduce by common terms for five or six decades in a row, you’ll come to Jack Johnson, the lowest common denominator of the music world.
- Notably though, a review over at PC Mag whinges frequently about the ads, leading to me to believe that perhaps it is worse. No word on the Jack Johnson phenomenon.
- Well, I have an ex who probably hates me more than I hate Facebook. But there’s really no reason to get into that right here anyway.
- A service, by the way, that lets you retain ownership and copyright of any intellectual property you post on it.
- Though they are a bit overzealous w/r/t the letter u.