Music Streaming

I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons lately. I consider downloading Flipboard — for those who know about it — a step in the right direction, because Flipboard exposes me to news articles from all around, and being up to date with the news is definitely a good way to know more about the world. That, and it’s a trendy practice. People I know are reading more news articles on their phones, and subscribing to feeds like Reddit and Feedly. General knowledge is trendy, and Flipboard has a pretty appealing interface in my opinion.

So the next step, logically, is music streaming.

I gave Deezer a try, I did, with my free trial account, but it simply didn’t have enough (read: any) Japanese songs to keep me hooked. I know we’re supposed to expose ourselves to new music (broadening horizons, remember?) but without a base to work on, I can’t even tell, from this sea of music in there, what I would like. Being Japanese is a very good indicator, but without it, everything sounds sub-par at best.

And Singaporeans don’t use Deezer much. They’re mainly on Spotify.

The main thing that’s been holding me back from Spotify is undoubtedly paid membership. Spotify does have free limited membership — which I hear can be circumvented, because there’re people who have been members for years and haven’t paid a single cent — but I’m just not sure if it’s going to be worth my while. What if after downloading the thing, I find that it has no Japanese music that I like? Then it’d have been a waste of time and computer space.

But who knows, maybe the new changes coming to it will change my mind.

It seems Spotify is layering out a few changes right before its competitors like Apple iTunes, or even YouTube (yes, YouTube’s coming out with its own $5 music subscription service soon). Some changes are meh, like changing the website into a dark background. I mean, yeah, dark is awesome, but it’s not going to be a pull factor for new users.

What I’m looking forward to is the tweak to its Browse feature. It’s now going to have themed playlists according to the time of day (like Mid-week Midday for Wednesday afternoons, which will play lazy afternoon songs, maybe. I came up with this name, by the way) which sounds interesting. In addition, it’s going to have a Your Music feature which sorts your music into albums, not just playlists. So you can have a big collection that’s carefully and neatly categorised.

I still don’t know if there will be Japanese music. This is irking me.

Ah yes, I found a website that says that Spotify is still really lacking in Japanese music. Guess I’m still giving it a miss then.

At any rate, hold on tight to those free streaming memberships that you have, for critics are still (as always) breathing down the necks of streaming sites, telling them to clear all free memberships for the sake of the suffering artistes. I don’t know if this will ever happen, but the pressure may just cause them to make small changes that inconvenience free members, bit by bit by bit.

Find out more about the debate at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/02/spotify-redesign-itunes-youtube-david-byrne

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