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.