I’m kind of fascinated by this new trend of stream-based legal music players. I mean, they’re in no way a real alternative to those of us who like being able to listen to our music when offline (and yeah, there are some of us who aren’t online 24/7. Sometimes, for instance, I’m taking a walk. Or riding the train. Whatever), but they are a nice example of a new idea, born of the availability of illegal music on the web – these sites and services represent the industry’s attempts to renew themselves for the new millennium. I see them as one of the last shudders of a dying industry – as many of you already know, I don’t really see the point in there being a music “industry”. The idea that people would suddenly stop creating music just because they’re not paid to… it’s just ridiculous.
But anyways, yeah, Spotify… I recently got hold of an invite, and decided to test the bugger out. Here are my results…
The Client is Mac/Windows only, in theory. Luckily, the Windows client runs very well in Wine under Linux, so that’s not that big of an obstacle. It’s very clean and simple, which is never a bad thing in my book. It’s a bit like a much better looking Itunes without the bloat. And it’s fast, at least on my computer. No UI delays whatsoever. Impressive.
Not many customization options at the moment, though. I can’t even find a way to sort the contents of playlists by track number, which I find kind of barbaric. I got the same problem with my phone. I mean, I prefer sorting my music by artist – year – album – tracknumber – trackname. Why is this a problem? Or are everyone just so used to having a bif unsorted CLUMP of a folder containing all their mp3’s and just using the random/shuffle function? have people forgotten how to listen to albums? I mean, take Beatles for example. Listen to the White Album. It’s a self-contained whole, each track laid out beautifully, there’s some real thought put into the way the tracks are ordered. And now they fucking sort it ALPHABETICALLY?
…yeah, where was i? Yeah the client. It’s simplistic, which is both good and bad. I give it a solid 7 out of 10 just for being different, since most players out there are bloated pieces of crap.It’d been nice to be able to listen through a browser, but I guess that’s just not in the stars…
The Library is kind of impressive, actually. I decided to use a very non-scientific method of checking it out quickly: A few weeks ago, when I got my new phone (review on its way…), I got a 2gb memory card with it. I then spent a few hour combing through my massive collection of mp3’s and selected a few artists and albums I simply could do without. Together, they form a pretty good picture of my taste in music (or lack thereof). A crossection, I think you could say.
So, in alphabetical order:
Atari Teenage Riot: Burn, Berlin, Burn
Nope, but they did have 1995, which is also a good album, I think. Not quite as good, but good nonetheless. I suppose I should be happy they had anything.
Bad Religion: The Gray Race
Nope, but they did have a few appearences of Bad Religion on a few compilations. I hate compilations, they cheapen the whole listening experience.
Bikini Kill: Reject All American
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha *sniff* hahahahahahahaha
No, seriously. I didn’t even expect to find them. So I’m not very disappointed.
Creedence Clearwater Revival: The Very Best Of
Erh, yeah. Unsurprisingly, they did not have the exact compilation I have, but one very similar. Not very surprising, you can’t have a music service without creedence. It’d be like… I dunno, fire without heat? Simply not done, and it’s against the laws of nature.
Dropkick Murphys: Do or Die and Sing Loud, Sing Proud
Like five or six compilation albums, no full albums. Bummer.
Frida Hyvönen: Until Death Comes
Two songs, in total. So no. Not that I particularly mind, Frida was put onthis listas an afterthought. I’ll probably replace her with Sedlighetsroteln/Looptroop any day now.
Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow
Yes. Pleasantly surpsised, I discovered no less than 9-10 full albums, amongst them what I usually think of as one of the greatest albums ever. Mostly because of White Rabbit, which is of course one of the best songs in all of existence, but the rest are good too.
Johnny Cash: American IV: The Man Comes Around
Yup, most definitely. Plus a lot (A LOT) of other Cash albums. Very nice.
Judas Priest: Hellbent for Leather
Nope. A bunch of other Judas stuff, though. Not that I really care, Judas Priest were put here for the same reasons as Frida Hyvönen.
LOK: Naken, Blästrad och Skitsur and Ut Ur Discot Och In I Verkligheten
Naken, Böästrad och Skitsur I could find, as well as Sunk 500 and others, plus a bunch of singles. Reasonably happy.
Lolita Storm: Girls Fucking Things Up, Hot Lips Wet Pants and Sick Slits
I got three albums, they got fucking squat. ‘Nuff said.
Marilyn Manson: Antichrist Superstar
Yup, and every other CD this little sellout creep has ever done. Sellout or not, he’s part of my history and I still like some of his early works…
Nationalteatern: Greatest Hits
No, but on the other hand, it’s a fucking compilation. They do have a number of the real albums, which is kind of surprising, and very nice. I guess they’re not subversive enough anymore. Maybe because people don’t listen to the lyrics anymore…
Negativland: No Business
Nope, just Over the Edge vol. 4, a particularly pointless creation. If they at least had had stuff like Dispepsi… But nope.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Murder Ballads
Yup. Kind of an impressive Nick Cave collection, actually. Nice.
The only Rammstein I find are a few singles and some soundtracks they’ve appeared on (Matrix, Resident Evil etc).
Rasta Knast: Probegepogt
I would have been very surprised. Actually, I was suprised there was anything, really. Three songs from various punk compilations.
Ronny Eriksson & J-O Orkestern: Orätt-visor
I already know this is kind of hard to find, so I was very unsurprised it wasn’t in the Spotify library.
Sophie Zelmani: Time to KillAtari Teenage Riot: Burn, Berlin, Burn
Another afterthought – not that I dislike Sophie in any way, but she’s just not primary list material. Oh, and tis album wasn’t in the library.
The Beatles: Magical Myster Tour, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the White Album
Yeah, big Beatles fan here. Snd, predictably, there’s no Beatles here. There’s no beatles anywhere.
The Dresden Dolls: A is for Accident
Pleasantly surprised; more or less everything by this wonderful “brechtian punk cabaret” band, even an album I hadn’t seen before. Very nice.
The Kristet Utseende: Pang på Pungen i Portugal and Sug och Fräls
Seriously? They have like every CD and single released by them. Very, very surprised here. I guess they’re bigger than I thought. And these guys are from my home region Hälsingland =)
William Shatner: The Transformed Man
Nope, but they did have a sompilation of his and Nemoys “best” works… =)
Commercials and banners: Yeah, they are disturbing. I just had to suffer through a fucking PER GESSLE commercial as well as a spot for the horrid rapper PETTER in the middle of a Dresden Dolls album. Had the library been bigger I’d definitely consider paying just to get rid of this crap.
And so, conclusions: The client is simplistic but will probably be improved, the libarary gave me a few surprises but I’m not ready to give up on mp3’s just yet, and commercials are STILL THE FUCKING SPAWN OF SATAN’S COCK!
All in all, 6/10 or so.