And why I’m sad I didn’t know about it sooner.

I have been a music connoisseur and seeker since the days I can remember.  I would go out and buy CDs of musicians and bands I had never heard of, or only recognized by word of mouth, just to simply take in all that they were and created.  I would scour online for free downloads, music, albums and everything that I could possibly find by any artist I knew (or didn’t know, in some cases) even a little bit about.

With the birth of iTunes, I was so happy to have all of my music in one, organized and simple to use space.  Especially a space that  could house so much music!  The one downfall, though, was money.  As we all know, it doesn’t grow on trees, and as a student, I definitely don’t have a budget to afford buying music to my heart’s content.  This became a problem over the years, even with Pandora and YouTube and other music sites where one can listen, but not keep on a computer.

Another thing I was always very interested in was sharing my music with friends, and hearing the music they were interested in.  Particularly those friends of mine who liked a wide variety of artists, especially ones that I had not heard of or listened to before.

Then, this week, I was introduced to… SPOTIFY. To my dismay, I had not known about this little speck from heaven sooner….

You can download this 8th world wonder on your computer for FREE (though, there is a version that costs money and has more advantages, but I’m on a budget here.)! In this software, you can sync it with iTunes, create playlists, share music, learn about music, connect through Facebook and Twitter, and discover music you may have originally not found.  All for free. FREE. You can search popular tunes, albums, artists, to find what music suits your taste (or, in my case, how I happen to feel at one moment.)  You can share the information about what you’re listening to on Facebook or Twitter, and see what other Facebook friends of yours are listening to, and instantly get that music.  This is done by bringing up your friends on Fracebook in the sidebar that are using Spotify and, by clicking on their names, you can see the playlists that they have made public.  These playlists can be anything from a variety of artists that they handpicked for a playlist, or simply one artist.  When you click on a person’s name it also shows their top artists and top tracks.  For free.

In the few hours that I’ve had it and managed to experiment with it, I’ve expanded my original iTunes catalog of about 7500 by over 1,000 songs.  Seriously.

I even see talk about how it’s possible to put these mp3 songs onto your iPod or other device… though, I’m skeptical to see if that’s too good to be true…

Regardless, I’m just thrilled to have this piece of technology at my fingertips.

The only downfall that I’ve noted so far is that it is not accessible when you are offline.  However, with today’s technology, it’s near impossible to find a place out of range of WiFi (unless you attend Belmont University and live in their apartments…).  Another downfall, I guess, is that there are advertisements that pop up on sidebars and after ever few songs.  But, if that’s the biggest complaint, then I’m a happy camper.

I’m still in the early stages of exploring this little beaut, but so far, so good.  I’m very happy, and I cannot wait to discover what music other friends of mine are listening to.  I even discovered that a local musician has his music on Spotfiy — a musician whose catalog I had been dying to hear! (His name his John Flanagan, for those curious, and he is simply magnificent.  You should give him a listen.)

Here’s a few screen shots of what it looks like!

 

This is the “Whats New” tab… By clicking this, you see what’s hot on Spotify right now, and what’s new. On the right, those are my list of friends from Facebook that are using Spotify! On the bottom left corner, you can also note the album artwork as well as the song and artist that is currently playing, with all the buttons along the bottom.  Above that, you can see the place for all the playlists you can create, as well as different links for different things, such as your Queue (which I’m not sure what that is mainly used for, yet), your iTunes library, and more.

The next tab after “What’s New” is “Top Lists” which shows top tracks, artists and albums!  Note: I clicked the tiny, little icon of people in the top right hand corner to make my friend list disappear.

This image is of the next tab, “Feed.”  This shows what other friends who use Spotify have said, as well as myself!  Here’s also an example of an advertisement that popped up.

This is what it looks like if you click on a friend of yours from Facebook who is sharing music! You can check out their playlists and other info.  You can even drag some of their music to your playlists/library if you so choose! I have a bad habit of doing this before I even listen to it… 🙂

And this image shows what the library looks like, very similar to iTunes and most other music software.

So, if you happen to have a love for music and collecting all that you can, it might be worth the adventure.  Plus, the good thing about technology like this is, if you don’t like it, it’s as simple as 1-2-3-DELETE to get rid of. So, go ahead, give it a try.  And let me know what you’re listening to! Why not? Did I mention it’s free?

Enjoy!

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