I am not what you would call an early adopter. I am, in fact, the opposite of that person. I do love technology though and I used to spend hours messing about with the latest and greatest inventions, finding out how they work and working my way through all the intricacies. But as I’ve gotten older, my available time and hence my list of requirements from the technology that I use has grown shorter but more emphatic and it basically boils down to this: what ever it is should work and work easily. A fairly basic request you might think, but how many new devices or services have you plugged in or logged on to and realised that you have absolutely no idea how to do whatever it was that you bought it for in the first place?
So on that basis you will understand that once I started buying into iTunes, I soon realised just how infuriatingly difficult it was to use but found that once I was in I was stuck. There was just enough functionality within iTunes to keep me using it ahead of the other digital platforms and they had a massive library with great quality files. The more I used it though, the more annoyed I got, and the limitations became more and more obvious.
And then I saw Spotify. Naturally I ignored it at first as I didn’t want to get stuck into yet another service that took my money and over promised but under delivered. Plus, I still felt like I wanted to own and ‘keep’ my music. So what changed? Well, without really noticing, my life has essentially moved almost completely into the cloud and I’ve got far more used to storing all my digital needs elsewhere, I’ve seen how useful it is to have access to everything everywhere. So I had to make the jump, I signed up for the Spotify free trial.
Within a week, I had paid for a subscription.
Are you kidding me? How is this not the default music platform? The interface is slick, the search is lightning quick and on wi-fi or 4G the performance and clarity of the music is perfect. Even on 3G, while it might take a little longer certainly on my phone I can’t tell any difference in quality. The desktop apps are also great and make it super easy to make playlists and download tracks for offline enjoyment. Then there are the pre-made playlists and radio channels and the songs they throw up that give you that give you the ‘yes, awesome track’ moment. Finally with over 30 million tracks in the database, if there are any songs not available, I haven’t missed them.
Given that music is something I enjoy almost every day and holds such an important part of my life, I would even go so far as to say that the price of the subscription is reasonable as well. I signed on to the family plan which allows two or more people to subscribe at a discount, great for Mrs P and I as we differ in our music tastes, but could also be used by a group of friends who can then get the same service but slightly cheaper.
Of course, there is the thorny issue of various artists claiming that Spotify doesn’t pay a fair rate for each streamed track, but surely, that concern should actually cause the industry to innovate and develop a new breed of labels that don’t cream off the cash from the creatives who develop the product in the first place. There will always be ways to connect the artists themselves with those who enjoy and appreciate their music so for me, Spotify is currently the best way to do that. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going off to turn up my John Parr Greatest Hits playlist to 11.