It wasn’t all that long ago when I would find myself with a couple of my friends going to the music store downtown to put on those gigantic, not-so-noise-cancelling headphones and listen to new albums that came out. Those trips became far and few in between after a few of our friends had gotten iPhones and could simply listen to snippets from iTunes, or download free programs like Pandora. At first I was upset that we couldn’t all go down to the store anymore to listen, but after I got my first taste of the smartphone soufflé I finally understood – this was much more efficient.
Apple's iTunes, although not the first of its kind, was the first program my generation knew to be able to sell single songs off of an album. It was a good money saver for those albums that had some flop songs that I just didn’t feel like paying for. I steadily started building my playlist by purchasing songs from iTunes, one by one or album by album.
I also downloaded Pandora in order to discover new music after running out of songs to purchase. I only heard so many “new” songs on the radio which would be repeated every other song and completely outplayed by the very next weekend, which will probably continue to be the trend until the end of time. Pandora was great for finding new music grouped into the same genre of the bands and musicians I was already familiar with, so for a long time I would listen to Pandora and only Pandora.
There came a point, however, where I wanted to be in control of the music I played, and Pandora was just becoming too random for me. When I had an Android there were more than a few apps that allowed me to download different songs, to which I did but soon found out that was illegal so that was very short-lived. As a person who has a few musician friends, I know that the ones just starting out are starving for money and a chance to make it big, so I felt pretty guilty just stealing music like I was. I mean, you wouldn’t download a car, would you? (That’s actually debatable) But I digress!
So far we’ve discovered iTunes, Pandora, and various music stealing apps that would 85% of the time give me malicious content. However, the one app that’s been my end-all for the need of any other music app, the app I’ve stuck with since day one when a dear friend introduced it to me not so long ago – is Spotify.
Spotify basically iTunes and Pandora rolled into one, and it only costs $10/mo. (if you decide to go premium, which means being able to listen to the music even if you’re not connected to a data network). I can search for new artists with radios based on one track, or one artist, and as soon as I find something I like I can add that music to a playlist I’ve created myself, and be able to listen to it whether I have data connectivity or not. It’s so easy to add and remove music as I need to, with absolutely zero need to connect my phone to computer. It’s a convenient app that lets you do everything from right there.
I will definitely miss the bonding times that my friends and I had at the music store when we were younger, but since then we’ve found other ways to bond and hang out. We can now even share new music we’ve found and liked through our phones, which is pretty amazing on its own. I have definitely found that discovering new music is easier since these apps have been created for our phones. It’s a bittersweet departing from my almost-weekly visit to the music store, but the pros outweigh the cons and I welcome this conversion with open arms.
Do you feel you’ve been able to discover more music with phone integration? What apps do you use to listen to music? Let me know in the comments!