Friday, 13 April 2012

Spotify is spot on

I do have several media apps already installed on my desktop computer. Basically, they are meant for playing my compact discs and audio files more than anything else. When I am too lazy, that is, to play my CDs directly from my Hifi system. For streaming of music through the Internet, I would normally listen to the radio stations through my browser though nowadays, I make more use of my ipad than the desktop.

But about a week ago, I was introduced to a service called Spotify. It's supposed to be one of the more exciting ways of listening to music through the Internet. At first I was a little skeptical about the service but after having used the application for slightly more than a week now, I must say that I have grown rather attached to it.

Maybe it's because the application automatically starts up whenever I switch on the computer. Haven't found a way to disable it yet but so far, I'm not complaining.

At first, I was using Spotify only to browse through the local files on my desktop. But after a while, I started getting curious and gave the application a closer look. My first discovery was that it was possible to listen to different genres of music streamed directly from the Spotify servers. Spotify called this service their radio stations but actually, they are not. Spotify simply selected the tracks according to the genres chosen and then served them up to you.

On the Spotify homepage, it claimed that there were at least 15 million songs that their subscribers could listen to and for this, the search box in the application came in handy. All I had to do was to key in the artiste's name or even the title of a song or an album, and the songs would show up in the application almost immediately. And it was possible to sort them by various means.

I tried to search for the harder-to-find artistes. For example, I had been searching for music by Alphonse Mouzon for a very long time but hadn't been able to find them anywhere. I was surprised to find his albums on Spotify. Similarly, a search for Umeki turned up two very rare albums by the late Japanese-American singer. As a result, one artiste after another, I've been listening to them in the background as I do my work.

But like everything else, the music on Spotify can only be so many. It's still not possible to find everything under the sun. There are limitations and if one can accept the limits, I guess one shouldn't grumble or complain. Just unsubscribe, uninstall the application and go somewhere else if one is not satisfied. There's no compulsion touse the service.

So what's my take on Spotify after about a week of usage? I can only say it thus: Spotify is spot on!

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