I’ve been a premium subscriber to Spotify for 7 years, and it changed how I listen to music, and recently changed a lot again. And since I’m looking for things to post about, it seems like a decent topic.
Because I’m a certain kind of process geek, there’s a rough process for how my music listening works. Pre-2009 this was set up with a set of automated playlists that would select random selections from stuff I rated highly, stuff I hadn’t rated yet, recent additions and stuff I hadn’t heard for a while, weighted towards things that were on more than one list.
In Spotify, when I find a track I like it gets added to my “Starred” list (recently removed as a UI feature and replaced with My Music pluses, which work less well for me), every so often I’ll copy stuff from the Starred list onto the Like [CURRENTYEAR] list, and stuff gets removed from starred when I get bored of listening to it a lot.
Day to day, I mostly listen to either the current starred list, Spotify’s Discovery personalised playlists (which do an occasionally terrifyingly good job of introducing me to new music I like, and are the source of most of the additions to Starred since it started) the entire 7 year collection of Like playlists, or stuff I get recommended by friends, foes and twitter (I have a host of other playlists, some artist based, some mood based, a lot single-album or larp-character playlists). Current Like list, Starred and Discovery get synced to my phone for offline listening, so I’m not dependant on network connections.
I don’t really buy physical albums anymore, and I was always more a single track (though not always singles) person than a whole-album one. I’ll buy any new Divine Comedy album, a few other artists, but generally my music for the last 7 years has lived on Spotify, which makes me fucked if they go under or suddenly become complete bastards (and on the hook for a lot of MP3s if I want to keep my favourites), but I went into that straight-up and eyes open, entirely unlike stuff like the – in retrospect – ironically named “Plays4Sure” Zune store stuff, which pretended to sell you albums while actually selling offline-available streaming services.