I signed up to be notified once Spotify arrived in the Philippines. And it has. I’ve tweeted about this days ago, but have only really tested the service yesterday.
The day I got the notice, I signed up for a new account and downloaded the apps for my iOS devices. I used only the web player on my desktop. I tested the mobile devices – there was an abundance of playlists that welcomed me: from user-generated ones to Spotify-created ones catering to genres or moods. And true enough, the desktop web player allowed me to play a track on demand.
The web player was nice, but the desktop version is a better experience. I can search for tracks/albums faster. And syncing my local files was a breeze. (Although admittedly I synced only my iTunes library — the master copies of the mp3s I painstakingly labored over are stored in the default Windows Music library, just in case I made a mistake of editing the mp3 tags over at iTunes.)
Currently testing out the premium version, which enables me to play a track on demand from a mobile device. I have yet to use the Spotify Connect, because I don’t have a wireless speaker to use it with in the first place. (Maybe in the near future, who knows?)
Currently I am just savoring the idea of being able to play old favorite songs and testing out new ones. Being a staunch supporter of physical media, having a streaming subscription service will allow me to listen to new artists to see if I like them, and possibly get hold of their albums. I don’t listen to radio, and I get to learn of “new” artists only through compilation albums (yes, I love collecting the Grammy Nominees series) and then buy their back catalog from there. The artists I already like — well, their every new release (or re-release, celebrating the album’s 10th or 20th or 30th etc anniversary) is highly anticipated.
There is of course the discussion that streaming services allegedly kill digital and physical sales. I understand their point, but speaking from experience, even if I can stream the track off Spotify or YouTube or Soundcloud, nothing beats having the physical source. (That is actually why I’d rather wait for the CD than buy the digital album. I love looking at the artwork and having to rip at the bitrate I choose… or maybe FLAC it for archiving purposes, which I haven’t really done because it takes some time.) My take on it is, the real fans will buy the albums — physical or digital, because they know that is what supports their favorite artists. Streaming services just allow me the chance to play a track on demand, wherever I may be, and whatever device I may have lugged around (because I can’t be expected to bring the CDs I love wherever I go, right? Right?! :D). Simply put, I’m paying for a personalized radio experience.