Saturday, July 30, 2011

Have to Tell You . . .

About an amazing service I just discovered. It's a music-lover's dream. It's called Spotify. You sign up, and for six months you will have access to a purported catalog of over 15 million songs. Price: nothing. (Well, you do have to listen to occasional adverts, but even these aren't so bad most of the time because they puff some group or singer you have never heard of with samples of the music. You can discover even more music you like.) This means you can listen to entire albums from thousands upon thousands of artists. You name the album and poof . . . there it is. Any kind of music: country, classical, reggae (one of my favorites), show tunes, techno, rock, punk, you name it. Any artist (with the sole exception of those Internet-shy people like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica and probably some others). Any album.* Type in the band's name, and you get a list of their albums in chronological order. There's another huge plus. You can share music with anybody else who is using Spotify. So if there's a song I like, and I want to tell my kids about it, I simply drop it on their names from there in the program. Simplicity itself. I'm convinced this is going to change the way we all listen to digitized sound. If you like music at all, this is terrific!

So what happens after six months? Glad you asked. There had to be a catch, right? Well, here's the deal. After six months, you can only listen to ten hours a month of free music (and the ads). If you want to have unlimited play, it'll cost you $4.99 a month. There's a more expensive plan available which allows you operate the program from various other platforms like your iPhone.

*Although I have found that this is true for the most part, it isn't always true.
Here's one by a band I had never heard of, and I'll bet you haven't either. But according to Pitchfork, they put out one of the best albums of the entire decade of the 2000s. They are called Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and the song is "Bright Lit Blue Skies." Enjoy.

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