In this day and age of popular music, the landscape for streaming, downloading, and sharing new music has far surpassed the cluttered stage and has become completely saturated with ways to discover new songs. A year or two ago, a blog posting like this from a blogger newbie, when shared and passed around enough times by friends and more prominent bloggers in the sphere, might have had some utility, as social sharing of favorite music with friends was far more complicated and cumbersome than it is today.
Overview: However, in today’s sonic landscape, there is an excess of ways to share your favorite songs and discover newly released music legally both on and offline. With this in mind, I’m not going to spend my (or waste your) time rambling on about what I think you should listen to (although I will share some of my favorite ‘picks of the week’ songs at the end of this post). Instead, I want to point you to a site and application that – if you haven’t already – I highly recommend you download and start using, whether it’s through your desktop or mobile device. It’s called Spotify.
What is it? The odds are you’ve heard about Spotify, as it’s been around for quite some time now. First gaining huge popularity in Europe, it has just recently this late Spring and Summer become available to American audiences, first by invite only then opened to the public. There are both paid for and free versions (I’m waiting for my iPhone 4S to be delivered before I potentially opt in for their paid-for version). If you haven’t had the chance to download it, it’s essentially a music streaming application that has access to over 15 million different songs, all fully streamable.
Why it’s cool: Its social sharing capacities are paramount in the industry right now, as its partnership integration with Facebook‘s new ticker timeline allow you to, in real-time, know what your friends are listening to and, even better, be able to listen to the songs right then and there with a single click on your Facebook stream. Even if you’re a little gun-shy about allowing Spotify to access your Facebook info (after all, Facebook has become “big brother” when it comes to mining tons and tons of personal data collection) you can still use the client to send/share music with friends. Plus, the application has other neat features like allowing you to collaborate and build different playlists with friends, just by dragging files over to their specified profile.
Other cool stuff: Moreover, the application synchronizes with your iTunes library and allows friends to see which playlists you’ve already created and allows them to subscribe to your lists (an ego boost that I particularly enjoy when someone other than myself finds my “One Hit Wonders of the 90s” list a helpful resource). Finally, there are a tremendous amount of playlists already pre-created by different online music sites like Digster.com and MyPlay.com that are quite excellent to subscribe to that are artist, genre, and theme-specific.
Bottom Line: To wrap up, Spotify essentially has positioned itself well as the all-encompassing, go-to for many different ways we the consumer want to enjoy music today and has, in many ways, made other music sites’ attempts to replicate these attributes of music discovery (Pandora.com), online streaming (Grooveshark.com) and sharing (iTunes pinging) unnecessary and rather obsolete. So join in the fun and become a fellow Spotify evangelist like myself and millions of others. Side note: be sure to find and share with me on Spotify (if we’re not friends on Facebook) as gregbodenlos (username).
New Pop Music Tuesday – Tunes of the Week:
- Kelly Clarkson’s second single: “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”
- Coldplay’s new duet with Rihanna: “Princess of China”
- Nicole Scherzinger’s new single: “Try With Me”
- Hot Chelle Rae featuring New Boyz: “I Like It Like That”
- What’s new in Spotify (spotify.com)
- Subscribe to friends’ playlists with updated Spotify iPhone app (thenextweb.com)
- Is Spotify the next evolutionary step for music? (pbpulse.com)
- Spotify Integration with Facebook (riseinteractive.com)
- Facebook’s new music streaming service Spotify affected by glitch (theinformativereport.com)
- Spotify’s New Private Listening Mode Hides Your Guiltiest Pleasure Songs [Spotify] (gizmodo.com)
- The Musical Magic of Spotify (valeriewire.wordpress.com)
- The Pros And Cons Of Streaming vs Downloading MP3s (makeuseof.com)
- Head to head: Spotify vs. Pandora (onsoftware.en.softonic.com)
- Is This the Future of Music? (fool.com)