Skip to content

Back to MP3s

I’m sick of subscriptions blah blah, we’ve all heard this rant before. So, I’ll skip the part you know, let’s just get to Spotify.

I remember when I first heard about Spotify it sounded amazing! A Netflix for music. No more CD buying/ripping nor Napster/LimeWire/Questionable Russian Site/Torrent searching. For less than $10, I could have the biggest backlog of music ever assembled in one place, just a few taps away.

Ugh… how I wish I still had that excitement today.

Spotify began pissing me off a couple of years ago, when they added podcasts. The podcasts kept getting recommended and I just didn’t want to see that. I wanted to see my music library, that is what I was paying for. But I tolerated it, begrudgingly.

As much as I’m not a fan of algorithms, of all the algorithms, Spotify’s is pretty decent. I’ve found a lot of great music through it, and I think that is the only thing that really kept me from pulling the plug. Then a few months ago their AI DJ popped up, and I wasn’t able to remove it from my playlists. Then I started getting promotions for local concerts. Then I started getting more random pop-ups asking strange questions like “This morning do you feel like you’re on a? 1. Moon 2. Sea Vacation” and I’m guessing this was going to create some sort of AI playlist based on my answer, but I always closed it down.

The prices have gone up, my convenience has gone down, and now I have to fight just to hit play on some music. I mentioned a couple weeks ago on Mastodon that my patience was running low, and then last week, I got an email that my Car Thing would stop working in December.

The Car Thing was Spotify’s only attempt at making hardware. They put together this four-inch screen that would help bridge the gap for folks with old cars that didn’t have touch navigation, like me. I balked at the $99 price tag, but after a few months they discounted it to $30 and I snatched one up. It was a great investment. I drive safer, it worked pretty well (although the last six months it’s been hit or miss) and I could say things like, “Hey Spotify, play Patience by Guns N Roses” and it would. Or I could use this nifty little turn wheel to pull up recent playlists, albums, or podcasts.

I wasn’t “burn the world” down mad about them discontinuing the Car Thing, but it’s frustrating since it’s basically a bluetooth device that should be open sourced. Heck, it already plays YouTube or Netflix or any other streaming service I have open at the time. It’s just ridiculous that they are cutting it off and creating more waste.

I go out of my way in life to avoid things that suck. But here I am, paying a company $17 a month to piss me off every time I open the app because they want to exploit me more. I’m really done with it. I was chatting with Jake, and he pointed me to his excellent write up on how he finds new music and later that night I dug out my mp3 player and pulled what mp3s I had left off of it. Then I found my wife’s old iPod and yanked her mp3s off. Then I uh… used a different method to grab some of my Spotify playlists. I figure, if I’ve paid them several hundred dollars over the past few years, I deserve to have some of what I paid for.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect, since I haven’t dabbled with mp3s in a while, but I found Apple Music worked great. It added the mp3s fast and was quick to sync 1600 songs to my phone. I was really expecting the worst since the last time I synced a phone with iTunes in like 2010 was a nightmare. But it went easy, and I have plenty of room so that’s not a concern and well… I’m excited about this new venture. I’m excited to seek out more independent artists and to get back to visiting Goodwill and picking up CDs for $.69 to rip.

The one thing we’ve lost in the streaming world is the appreciation for what we have. When you have infinite possibilities, it’s hard to appreciate what is in front of you. When I ripped all my CDs in the late 90’s, never once did I complain that I needed more music. I was content and happy enjoying what I had. I think I’ve lost that in all this “renting” that I’ve done. I want to get back to having stuff that is my own (now that storage is cheap) and being able to enjoy it with very little upkeep or frustration.

I’m also excited about curating my playlists better. With Spotify I’d lose Playlists or songs would get added from their recommendations then I’d have them in two different playlists, and it just wasn’t neat and tidy the way I like it. Once again, the control is back in my hands, and I like that.

Installing Plex has been a game changer for me, and I have a feeling that getting back to a simpler music management system is going to be equally beneficial.

Published in#WeblogPoMo2024

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *