what i watched last week
uncle miltie’s appendage

a month of spotify

It’s been about a month since I posted my first impressions of Spotify, which means it’s time to revisit the latest attempt to make every song available at any time, in any place.

First, comparisons to other services. To get MOG out of the way, I like MOG a lot, I like the people involved with MOG, and I still have a subscription, but I don’t use it much. MOG surpasses other services in many ways, perhaps even in most ways. But if it’s a choice between MOG and a service that lets me mix my own MP3 collection with their cloud-based catalog, I’ll go with the latter. I want to listen to a specific Beatles or Led Zeppelin song whenever I feel like it. One day, those artists will see the light and I can re-evaluate, but for now, access to my own collection is a requirement.

Which means, based on my more recent encounters, that it comes down to Rhapsody vs. Spotify. Rhapsody’s desktop software sucks so bad, I’m always looking for an alternative, even though their catalog is strong and I can listen to them on my Squeezebox Radio or Android Phone. As I noted after only a couple of sessions, Spotify wipes the floor with that piece of crap associated with Rhapsody. Since Spotify’s catalog is at least in the same ballpark as Rhapsody’s, since the quality of the streaming is at least as good, since I can stream Spotify to the same devices Rhapsody uses, and since I can mix my library with Spotify’s catalog, the comparison comes down to the desktop software (I spend a LOT of time on my computer, so the desktop software matters more to me than it might to others). The result is that I have cancelled my Rhapsody account, and am going with Spotify, at least for the near future.

Spotify’s software is not perfect. You can’t delete songs from the play queue without jumping through too many hoops, for one thing. On the other hand, you can sort your playlists, and yes, that’s a basic function, but it is also a function Rhapsody never figured out. If, like me, you have a playlist with 3,335 tracks, it’s not easy to find a particular track within that playlist unless you can sort (or even search, which Spotify also allows).

Playlists are easy to create in Spotify, and they are easy to share, as well. Spotify is tied into Facebook … you don’t have to make that connection, but there are some nice extras if you do. But you can share playlists without the use of Facebook. And while I pay the fee for Spotify Premium, most of the necessary functions are included in the free version … a free user can share with Premium users, for instance.

Today, the folks at Spotify pointed out that I can access “Top Lists” broken down into worldwide, U.S. only, other countries only, or just my own top list, based on what I’m playing. It’s this list that interests me. O.V. Wright is at the top of the list. Watch the Throne has four tracks in the top 20. And the Rolling Stones have three tracks, probably because I was creating a Stones playlist. I can’t tell what the time frame is for this Top 20, so I’ll check this again down the road. But in the meantime, if you have Spotify (and if you don’t, I have invites if you need one), here is a playlist based on my current Top List. I removed a few tracks so there are only one from each artist, leaving me with 15 songs, 48 minutes of what I’ve been listening to. Here’s the list:

Steven’s Top List: 8-17-11