It may be that only people in Portland still listen to vinyl, but for the rest of the world, the way we use music technology has changed significantly over time. From vinyl to cassette tapes, CDs and digital downloads, the way we distribute and consume music has changed dramatically. Gone are the days where you would have cassette tapes stashed in the center console of your vehicle, and the number of CDs you have purchased in the past 5 years is most likely far fewer than the five-year period preceding it. With music becoming increasingly digital, the most popular method of listening to music has become streaming.
Streaming music online can be done via a number of methods. You can use YouTube to cycle through music videos, listen to radio stations online, or go to websites that, for a small monthly fee, offer you a vast library of music (it can even be free if you don’t mind the odd advertisement or two). In Canada, however, the options for streaming music has become a bit limited due to royalty issues. One of the most popular ones, and the one I have most familiarity with, is Spotify.
Spotify is accessible either via their website, or an App that is available for Windows, iOS, and Android. As mentioned before, you can use this website for free; however, you usually have to listen to a 30 second advertisement every 5 songs or so. You can also pay a monthly fee (around $10) to have full, uninterrupted access to tunes, as well as a one of the most useful features streaming audio can have. More on that in a minute!
Spotify (and most of its competitors) offer a music library unmatched by any personal music collection. It has everything from Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, to some Peruvian Pan Flute band you have never heard of. So far, of all the bands I like to listen to (and I like some obscure music), I have only been unable to find one of them on Spotify. Spotify also offers a wide selection of music genres that you can just tune into like rock and country, and even listening moods, like studying, working out, or just sleeping.
Now, probably the most useful feature, which does require a paid membership, is the option to allow you to save music to devices locally. Time and time again, I have found myself without a reliable cellphone connection or Wi-Fi. With Spotify, I can find the songs I like and download their music straight to my mobile device, allowing me to listen to music without needing an internet connection or phone signal.
Listening to music has never been easier and more accessible, and with sites like Spotify, I now have the world database of music at my fingertips. I am finding new bands and songs I would have never have discovered without this application, and spending less on music than ever before.
Senior NOC Technician – Pod Sonic