Starting with cassette tapes, either recorded from radio shows or audio cds, I figure that I am already that old to know why a pencil is important 😉 Once in a while I switched to using audio cds and a huge set of playlists (DJ Winamp was calling) during my studies. While I’ve started listening to pop and rock tracks (Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, etc) that taste changed over time.
Writing my diploma thesis back in 2006 required a change in music which is kind of similar to work-out music: beats, not too much house involved, not that many vocals. Just keep pushing forward while writing text and hacking Linux. Tiesto – Live on Trance Airwaves 2004 was one of those mixes found on the net, after a while I’ve spotted Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance radio show, starting with 288. Tiesto’s Club Life radio show also got my attention.
I did not really change my music taste though – depending on the mood, I prefer to listen whatever comes to mind, and I am fairly certain I’ve tried new movements as well. Some don’t play well (I don’t like black metal that much for instance), others get my attention (the deep house / electric movement). And some are just a fun fact when your group likes it – as we do at NETWAYS with Helene Fischer or any other “Après Ski” hit. Not that I generally like that kind of music, but going out and enjoying life together is what matters 😉
Afterall I did not really catch up with charts or other “current” music although I tend to know quite of lot of tracks by hearing just the first seconds. Querying Youtube for such tracks and keeping them organized doesn’t work well if you’re moving from Austria to Germany – most of these tracks are either blocked (GEMA-wise) or get deleted by their uploader once in a while. But I wanted some sort of “Listen to whatever I like” stuff. So I looked into the various streaming offers around. I did not like Spotify in the first place, as it required a Facebook login to stream free media (and Android/Linux wasn’t supported that well). Using the Nexus 7 tablet, Google Play Music was doing a good job and I liked the idea of organizing playlists and tracks.
Although I have to admit that Google Play Music is just yet another service by Google (and there are too many of them). They overhauled the interface quite a bit in past year, but the app still crashed when you were navigating from authors to suggestions, adding stuff to playlists, going deeper. Sadly this happened to often, and also the navigation was not as intuitive as it could be. By the end of 2014 I decided to switch from Android to iOS and try something new. I’m not going into details here what’s better on these operating systems, it’s just – how much is Google Play Music optimized for iOS?
After some weeks of trying to keep up with it, I must say – it does not really fit into iOS, and you’re better with alternatives. It sure scales better than on the old Nexus 7 or Galaxy S3 hardware, but when you’ve learnt the Apple iOS way of doing things, it somehow feels borked. It’s the same with Gmail and Chrome, they do not integrate well into Apple stuff. Further you cannot quit the subscription on iOS – the app store forwards you to the website (mobile) which tells you to open the app! (inside the Android app store it’s perfectly integrated and you can quit. Workaround: Switch Safari to Desktop mode and then Google let’s you quit the subscription).
I then looked into Spotify – mainly because many of my colleagues at Netways use it as well and I like to share playlists with them. Installing Spotify and opening the application, getting an account and browsing all the stuff was tremendously easy. The app integrates well into iOS and is rather fast in navigation and search. And it does not burn your bandwidth that much, nor the offline storage is exceeded. I was a bit surprised when comparing that to Play Music, but I don’t have any comparison numbers – only a feeling that it’s less. I do use wifi at home, and have Telekom LTE on the road, so not really an issue.
What I really like about Spotify is that it’s just one service, and it’s perfect for what it is and does. Even if Tiesto’s Club Life is exclusive to TheFuture.fm (their iOS app is magnificant too), I even get to listen to Armin van Buurens ASOT exclusively. And looking at Bernd’s playlists I feel confident that mine fit perfectly in there. Including my strange taste for every mood.
Besides, if you’re wondering which music I’m playing when hacking Icinga – that’s currently Club Life 404 and 400 (4h best of!) and a Minimal // Deep House playlist. Icinga wouldn’t have happened without this kind of music, I’m fairly certain about that 🙂