Monthly Archives: August 2015

Freshly Squeezed Op-Ed: The 2,147th Music Review

Over the past several months we have been buried under an avalanche of reviews of both Watch and Music.

Personally, I’m not a fan of wearing bling but I’m debating purchasing an Watch. I’d like to have it primarily for tracking my exercising. I’m wheelchair-bound so what I need to know is will it keep track of my upper body exercises? For example, will it calculate calories burned when I’m boxing or doing pull-ups? So, until such time as I find out, we’ll have to toss in our $.02USD on Music.

I’ve been streaming music for about a year now, using Spotify’s premium service. I use it in the car. My attraction to it was that I could revisit my favorite vinyl albums. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that a good deal of what I had on vinyl had been remastered! I also assembled about a dozen playlists of favorite tunes and genres. That locked me into their premium service.

I simply stream Spotify through my iPhone and into the car radio’s auxiliary input. When I want to seriously listen to my music, I do so at home. I launch iTunes and either listen through some good speakers or put on a set of cans.

I have never felt compelled to pay $25.00USD a month to use Music Match. Paying Spotify my $10.00USD per month for what I cared to listen to while driving suited me just fine.

But now Music appears. With my music library up in the cloud, for $10.00USD a month, I can access both my library but also have generated playlists. And because they have been created specifically for my tastes, I discovering unheard songs. It’s like celebrating Christmas every day. I know that Spotify also offers this feature but I have found Apple’s offering far superior.

After feeding Music my pick of artist and genres, and these playlists blow away Spotify’s offerings. As an example, I’ve been presented with a collection of John Lee Hooker songs that I had never heard before. That makes me very happy to listen to new material that I had never come across. In contrast, Spotify tends to give me the most commonly heard/requested songs by that artist.

I also like that Music presents me with a random bunch of albums to chose from among the playlists. Very often I find my self scrolling through ‘For You’ and find an album that I haven’t listened to in ages. And their preprogrammed stations work for me (I particularly like Classic Alternative).

There are cons, however. I have no interest in listening to Beats1. I’ll give it a try one day but it’s nothing that I feel compelled to use. I had my fill of DJs when growing up. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Maybe not.

I happened across an annoying bug/feature the other day. It had never happened before but for the time being it is occurring on a regular basis. When I launch a playlist, it plays the first song. Once that song is finished, it plays it again. And again. And again ad nauseam. I have had this occur the last two times that I’ve launched playlists. Yet it never happened with them before. So, if you want to go to the next song in the playlist, you have to do it manually. And unless you are stopped in traffic or at a red light, all you can do is scream at your iPhone (or at least I do, anyway).

And Connect is a complete bust. Are the artists going to take the time to generate content? Or their label? I doubt it but time will tell.

Technically, I’m a listener who decompresses their audio as much as is possible (I’m well aware of the argument as to whether or not anyone can hear the difference). Spotify provides 320 kbps Ogg Vorbis. Music provides 256kbps AAC. In a car going over the speed limit, there is no telling the difference between the two. So, for my purposes, that’s a wash.

Based primarily on “For You’ and access to my personal library, I think that I may switch. Of course, if I start having any of the serious troubles that others have encountered with the new service, I may have second thoughts.

But until such a time, Music suits me fine.

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