Music apps have got it all wrong - one of an x-part series
Warning: Rough draft approaching (sans reading glasses to boot!)---
I love music more than your average "girl" (I've berm told this) and have an extensive collection of many genres from jazz to country, opera to public enemy, and the sex pistols to jay-z. Most too obscure to mention because most people don't listen to old delta blues, live albums and anything but hip hop, Adele or new direction these days.
To that end (my music obsession), I have Spotify, iTunes, & tidal on my phone. I also use soundcloud, Pandora, genius and YouTube. There have been many more over the digital years from MySpace to playlist to radio tuna to others I can't recall the name of but know I've tried.
Nothing compares to my record collection, the one my brother gave away when our parents divorced, since he bought everything, he had no sense of how long I'd curated that finely tuned selection of every kind of music, obscure to mainstream, virtuoso to punk. No 'greatest hits' LPs (well, except the Stones and Bobby D), the rare and the billboard hits, the sonorous and the discordant, major and minor keys.
You should really be listening to my collection.
I've decided to give tidal one month of my exclusive listening pleasure (renouncing the 10,000 song library I've built) over the more popular but inextricably flawed Spotify because I got hacked and my automatic payment changed. Spotify can't figure out how to make it easy for me to change my billing details - but instead tells me (after years of paying them 9.99/mo) every time "that's a premium feature" with no redirect to update as many apps do.
I read the claims about Apple. I read apple's rebuttal.
All I know is Spotify and iTunes both frustrate the hell out of me.
Spotify blames Apple for their inability to let me easily manage my account (the login is just stupid so I always use Facebook login which makes life so much easier, but Spotify doesn't make user-based changes, it seems. When you ask on twitter, the intern tells you to log your "issue" or "suggestion" on a message board that is not what I want to be seeing when I just need to tell the developers how their app actually works (or doesn't & how to fix it).
Needless to say, I went to the site as directed but felt like I was doing someone's paying job dealing with the message board forum of geeks not music afficibadoes. They wouldn't explain the inability to customize and sort playlists, they'd Judd listen somewhere else.
But the herd is with Spotify and you're stuck with the player with the most numbers in this game.
Spotify sucks. Tidal does many things right, is too expensive (all of these idiots should have levels of pricing, starting at 4.99 and based on listening not access. You used to pay for a song and could listen to it. Now, Spotify expects you to pay every month again for the ability to listen to that song. If you have to choose between songs and delete one, good luck finding your duplicates in Spotify which has not evolved in the 4+ years I've used the service, and blames Apple for their clearly self-inflicted wounds (Prince did not allow his music to be on Spotify which tells me they don't pay artists right).
I'm stuck with Apple music as are you if you ever copied a tool cd to your iTunes library.
Two artists you can't listen to on Spotify. And Taylor Swift was pissed off at the Swedish music 'service' too, so you wonder if they adequately pay their artists for their music rights.
Who knows. I could google it for you. But that will be revealed in a later post.
Here's the top ten reasons I'm not a huge fan of Spotify but feel "stuck" with them since they were the only game in town when I gave up on making iTunes my primary listening service.
A lot has to do with understanding how people listen to music (versus watching YouTube videos, reading digital versions of books or streaming television series) and why they share their selects.
Let's begin there.
I have 10,000 songs saved to Spotify, their limit for a $ 9.99/month premium subscription (which I think is too much, but more on that later).
Now I admit I often save a song to multiple playlists or I may save again when I hear later, because I'm manic about my "record collection" and an always building the perfect playlist for a specific event, scene, script, dance party, morning music, after-hours coming down music, broken heart music and the songs I'd take to a desert island with me.
There's no way to sort duplicates in any of these services - iTunes actually makes it the easiest to find the duplicate tracks and tidal makes it easiest to see & remove duplicates from your playlist. But Spotify? No. The worst when it comes to intuitively ordering your songs.
In a Spotify playlist, your new songs added go all the way to the bottom, so you have to scroll endlessly to find what you just heard. This makes no sense as you want to listen to your latest first, another thing tidal got right.
This works because we all have "listening trends" (duh, if I am listening to a genre, it may be for a 'session' or even a whole "album," imagine that) and we want to hear what we just discovered not have to scroll hundreds of songs just to re-listen to a song we may not even know the name of yet.
The lack of intuitive sorting makes it cumbersome to delete tracks to stay below your 10,000 "quota."
Another reason Spotify sucks - if you're paying ten bucks a month, $ 120 a year, you think you're buying access to your curated library, which means your continually paying Spotify for access to the same songs over and over again.
Now, do they pay the artists commensurately? Of course not. So their whiny little Elizabeth Warren-backed plea that they're being crushed by apple's monopoly just ISN'T TRUE.
I'd have more sympathy for Spotify if they were continually adding value to and improving their service. But they have blamed apple for all their problems so they're not what I want in my primary music platform. The only reason I'm there is the time I've already spent building a 10,000 song library (that I can't listen to because I can't figure out how to update my payment info since I sign in with Facebook because it's more secure than Spotify site, which I know from experience).
Now I hate Spotify after writing this when i should be listening to music.