Archive | January 2013

Because Macros and Cats Fuel The Internet

The Spotify iPhone app is generally pretty solid, but I struggled to  add full albums to my existing playlists.  I turned to the internet for a solution only to find out that it can’t be done.  Playlists can only be expanded on a song-by-song basis on the mobile app.  Frustrating.

However, my search did turn up this little gem.

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I’m normally against macros that feature cats, but this is far too applicable to ignore.  Credit to user Afront for the image.

Pimping My Friend’s Shiz

I want to veer wildly off topic and give a shout-out to my friend Matt and his new blog. I’ve known Matt since 2004 and we’ve been Facebook friends for just about as long, which is funny because we barely know each other.

His wife, Marie, WHO STILL WILL NOT BE FACEBOOK FRIENDS WITH ME EVEN THOUGH I WANT TO TELL HER THAT SHE WAS ONE OF MY MOST INFLUENTIAL TEACHERS EVER, was my instructor for two courses during my Semester at Sea experience. I saw Matt and his kids frequently around the ship, but we were friends although I could tell that he was a cool dude. Early 2005 was the Wild West days of Facebook for us non-Ivy League types, so when his friend request came through I initially thought to myself, “WTF?” andly had to update myself as to who he was. Like anyone else I’d seen at least one time before, I approved his request, but had no idea what awesome writing he would deliver.

There’s no other way to say it – Matt is my best Facebook follow. His status updates work more like mini-essays and cover all manner of topics from sports to politics to parenthood. His humor, kindness and genuine concern come through in his writing and it makes me feel like we’re friends even though we’ve never talked. And he’s sneakily convincing – I think I’ve incorporated some of his leanings into my own political views.

So why bring this up? He’s a new blogger and so am I. Maybe shining a light on him can keep him writing regularly. His blog is in a nascent state at the moment, but check back frequently and show him some love.

Spotification

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I resisted Spotify for months because I couldn’t stand the thought of not owning the music that I consumed.  Buying, collecting, and digitizing my music had become a part of my identity and to abandon the hobby would be to abandon a part of who I am at my core.  Conquering the urge to maintain the physical connection to the CD and its accompanying album cover, booklet and jewel kit in favor of the mp3 was sacrilege enough for me.  The thought of giving up ownership rights and all of its conveniences (superior sound quality, duplicability, portability, and offline listening) in for streaming media was anathema.  And yet…


The problem with listening to music as a hobby is that there is just so much of it.  It’s impossible to listen to all of the recommendations and it’s equally challenging to afford all of that music.  I’ve passed on listening to a lot of great albums because I simply didn’t have the funds or because I didn’t want to spend cash on a possible dud (not to say that I haven’t enthusiastically spent money on some true dreck – what’s up, Lupe Fiasco).  I browse music sales daily, but even at $5 a pop the expenses start to add up.  With the added pressure of needing music to discuss for this blog I realized that I needed to switch up my pattern.  I needed more music for less money.  I needed Spotify.

I’d heard the praises of Spotify years before its American debut, but I ignored the buzz until I decided I wanted to do a Best of 2012 post (still coming, I swear!).  Fearing that my best albums of 2012 would be nothing more than a list of all the albums that I bought in 2012, I headed to Spotify for its promise of a deep library of complete albums.  I was impressed at the beginning of my free Premium trial and I continue to be in awe to this day – I haven’t had trouble finding a single album that I legitimately cared about.  I had to resort to foreign music in order to stump the service (no Cowboy Bebop OST’s apparently).  I’m not sure how Spotify managed to get the rights to streaming all of the music, but they did and we all win from the effort.

I haven’t done a deep investigation into the tiers of service that Spotify offers other than to know that there are limits to free and ad-supported service.  The Premium service is where it’s at though – unlimited streaming, full compatibility with mobile devices, better sound quality, and no ads.  It’s a no-brainer at $9.99 per month – that’s paying the price of one regularly priced album for access to an infinite number of them.  I’ve already listened to a dozen albums that had been on my curious list and have discovered some true gems through the process.  Spotify is a game-changer and there is no going back.