No more delays, let’s Spotify

It’s been quite some time since I posted regularly. This has been for two reasons: I broke my PC; and I’ve been trying to figure out how to differentiate between what I post here, and on the PNeo blog.

I didn’t actually break my PC. I just started to get weird file corruption. I can only guess that it was a hard drive fault because an replacement drive has eventually fixed it. However, I needed to back up a considerable amount of data, especially my music over the years, before I felt safe leaving the PC on for any length of time.

The blog issue was more fundamental. PNeo is our brand new spanking Porter Novelli blog. It’s a bit sparse right now but rest assured I’ll be blogging away on it from tomorrow like there’s no, well, tomorrow. The difficulty came in splitting what I talk about on here, with what I talk about on there. So from now on, I will have my professional social media planner hat on when I post to PNeo. As a PNeo blogger, I will be talking about a provider of corporate communications and social media. Initially this is going to encompass basic ‘How To’ advice and interviews, moving on to daily reactive posting. Everything else goes on here, with me wearing my bejewelled consumer battleshorts. This gives me leave to post about stuff like…

Spotify.

I’ve had a soft spot for online music streaming, especially the free sort, ever since I fell in love with Pandora. Then Pandora disappeared because I’m not American, the proxy workarounds no longer work that I can tell, and I had to make do with Last FM instead.

Some people prefer Last FM: I do not. I don’t like the added complexity of its social network. I tend to find that it will come up with choices of music that are unsuited to my taste whereas Pandora would just churn ’em out. I’m not sure how well the reference model works for musical taste, given that musical taste can also depend on how you’re feeling at the time.

Enter Musicovery. It’s a good Pandora-like. I’m listening to it now. I’ve got it set to calm, positive World music. Last night I listened to calm, dark jazz. I had no idea Miles Davis did a version of Summertime, nor that a jazz version of Paranoid Android existed. Now I do. Music discovery=Musicovery.

But these two approaches are poles apart. It’s virtually impossible to zero in on a specific artist on Musicovery, while you cannot get going on Last FM without being specific about the artist or genre you want to listen to.

Spotify seems a very exciting midway solution. I have a colleague, who has a friend, who has a private beta account. He’s seen it, and he says it is amazing. Apparently the interface is very iTunes-like, but a kind of monochrome version thereof, and the streaming is high quality and responsive. So you’re pretty much running an online version of iTunes through a thin client.

Martin Varsavsky explains more:

You click on an album and you can listen to it, just like it was on your hard drive. You can also listen to the Artist Radio which will feature music from artists similar to the one you were looking at

In other words it looks as if it could offer something midway between Last FM and Musicovery. As Martin Varsavsky says, “It’s like Pandora without the need to vote and with your ability to listen to music anytime you want. It’s like Last FM without the community.”

I would love to get my hands on a private beta. In fact, I think I will. Watch this space…

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3 thoughts on “No more delays, let’s Spotify

  1. You know what? I agree with you. Where is Spotify? I’d forgotten I even wrote this post. I applied for a beta, was told it was a private beta, didn’t get any further than that. How long can something be in beta? I thought we were in the age of the permanent beta. Perhaps they’re still suffering copyright woes, the same that beset Pandora. Maybe they don’t want to ‘do’ a Pandora – that is, launch a service then think about how to monetise it.

    And that’s good, but, well, it has been quite a while, hasn’t it?

    So yes, there are many, many more initiatives since writing this post, not least the plentiful supply from companies such as Apple. Go for them now and you’ll be happy.

  2. Pingback: Audio here, there, but not quite everywhere « Brendan Cooper, your Friendly Digital Social Media PR, ummm, Thingy

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