Back in more primitive times (say, before July 2011 in the U.S.), if you wanted to hear a song right then, you had a few choices, none of them very good. You could call up one of your local FM stations and make a request (good luck with that) or go to a store that sold CDs (of which there are fewer and fewer: Tower and Borders are gone). More realistically, you could buy it on iTunes after listening to the free 30 seconds. But what if you didn’t especially want to buy it, but you did want to hear more music by the same artist? YouTube has a lot of music videos, but the audio is sadly lacking. Now, however, we have Spotify:
Spotify is just like having a giant-size collection of CDs, with over 15 million songs, and it’s as if they are pre-loaded into a jukebox: they’re just there. You can try it for free, just to prove to yourself that you really have all that music, but Premium is the way to go, so that for a mere $9.99 a month you can use it on your smartphone and have a higher quality bitrate. You may never need to buy another CD (or song on iTunes, for that matter).
I know what you’re thinking, though: listening to music on a computer is just hopelessly lame, and I completely agree. You have to get the music onto a real audio device, like the powerful receiver you have hooked up to your speakers. There are any number of ways to skin that cat, and you have to decide what works for you. Wires are the best, either a gold-plated adapter from the audio out on the computer to the RCA inputs on your stereo or even better, use a Behringer USB interface. If wires don’t work for you (or someone in your household with veto power), there are other options. I’m a huge fan of the Logitech Squeezebox Radio (stay tuned for a future post), but there are also Apple Airports and Apple TVs (don’t forget the 3rd party Airfoil) and Bluetooth hardware. I don’t want to say Spotify will change your life, but it changed mine – for the better.