Monthly Archives: December 2012

My Experience with Spotify Premium

I was skeptical at first.  My previous experience with Pandora wasn’t the best.  I couldn’t listen to any song that I wanted to, but I could create an artist radio, where without fail, 5 songs in I would be turning off the music because Pandora would be suggesting something absolutely awful.  And why not just skip over the song?  Well, with Pandora you only get so many skips per day.  Then Google Music came along for a while.  I could listen to any song I wanted to, but only once.  That was a weird phase that Google had.  I’m glad it’s gone (or at least I can’t easily find it anymore by simply using Google to search for a song).

When I first heard about Spotify, I couldn’t believe that there was a music service available where I could listen to any song at any time.  But it’s absolutely true.  Spotify carries most songs.  Spotify’s search engine isn’t necessarily the best, so you really need to know exactly what you’re looking for, but it’s there.  With Spotify I could easily get rid of my CD collection from the 2000s if I wanted to.  However, I have a lot of rare CDs from indie bands that Spotify doesn’t necessarily carry as well as a lot of autographed CDs that are irreplaceable.

Why would someone want to listen to any song at any time?  Or better yet, why would someone want to pay $9.99 per month to have this ability?  Well, have you ever had a friend post something about a great song that they just heard about on Facebook?  Now you can listen to these songs without paying for each individual song.  Although, I’m not recommending sharing what you’re listening to on Facebook since to tell you the truth, Spotify has given me the ability to listen to music that I normally wouldn’t want anyone else to know I was listening to.  I really believe that what I listen to in the privacy of my own home shouldn’t be broadcast all over the Internet.  Thus, I turn this feature of Spotify off.  However, I do still have my Spotify account linked to my Facebook account, I just am not sharing every individual song that I am listening to, just the ones that I want to share.  Just a tip.

If you don’t use Facebook, maybe you heard a great song on the radio on the way home from work and want to listen to it again.  Or a great song from the latest TV show or movie that you watched.  Or a song that was recommended to you by a friend, family member, or someone at work.  Or you just wanted to explore additional songs by an artist without buying their entire album.  The list goes on and on of times when you would want to listen to a song here and a song there, right?  Think about it.  If you had the ability to listen to music freely and without limits, wouldn’t you listen to music a lot more often?  By my calculations, if you buy more than 10 songs iTunes per month, it might actually be cheaper to pay for Spotify Premium.  The tip that I have here, though, is to remember that you have Spotify Premium.  For the first month or so, I had to consciously remind myself not to go to iTunes and not to go to Amazon to buy a CD.  After I got used to the fact that Spotify was going to be my sole source for music, things got a little easier.

But what about downloading music?  OK, you can’t really download music from Spotify in the sense that you have a file that you could burn to a CD and take with you wherever you want.  However, Spotify Premium has offline mode.  Offline mode allows me load any song onto any device that I have to listen to when I might not necessarily have Internet access.  This is especially convenient for me to use when I want to listen to music in my car and I don’t want to use my 4G Data Plan.  Or in any spot at work where the wireless Internet signal is not the best.  When using offline mode, though, you must make sure that the songs are loaded onto the specific device that you want to listen to them on.  It would be nice if Spotify could talk between devices (at least when the devices are both connected to the Internet), but unfortunately, it doesn’t.  So, if I’m listening to one of my playlists on my computer at home and  pause the song, I can’t automatically start playing the song on my computer at work without opening the playlist first.

Again, why are you paying for this?  I know you’re not stupid.  You’re right.  I’m not stupid.  I know there are other options available for me to listen to music.  There is a radio station in my area that heavily promotes Rdio.  And I have friends who swear by making music playlists in YouTube.  Again, once I settled on the fact that I didn’t need to buy music ever again if I was paying for Spotify Premium, the whole idea of paying a reasonable monthly fee seemed a lot better.  I highly recommend Spotify Premium.  I’ve been very happy with it so far.

Grade Distributions

I’ve been inspired by my friend Johnny Hu from Whatcom Community College to post my grade distributions and passing rates.  I see the document below as a great way for me to be transparent about what is actually happening in my classes.  I’m actually a public employee and as such I believe that the public deserves access to this information.  From here on out I intend to provide this information at the end of every semester.  I will probably add the number of W’s to this document at some point as well.

Grade_Distributions.pdf
Download this file