iTunes, Spotify, and why neither gets the job done – Part 1


Since I’m a music junkie/nerd, it’s very important that my constant search for new music should be easy and rewarding. Don’t get me wrong…I love following endless links around the net to band websites, blogs, publications, and whatnot. That’s always been the best way to find out about new artists, and learn more about artists who I thought I already had pegged. There’s such a wealth of knowledge and opinions out there, so it’s fun for me to read what others have to say about the same music I’m listening to.

So what’s the not-fun? It’s the tools like iTunes/Spotify/etc and their constant need to make money (although who can blame them?) that continues to keep their product from being perfect. Allow me to explain…I have no problem with paying for music. I go to concerts as often as possible, buy directly from artists if I can, and do my best through this blog to spread awareness to good music. But since I live in the real world, I need to do the same things as you and everyone else in order to simplify my life. That’s where iTunes and Spotify come in…they are usually so damn easy to use! So the conflict is: travel the bumpy and winding road of the ideal music geek lifestyle, or give in to the paved highway of iTunes and Spotify?

iTunes was first for me…ever since I graduated from Winamp to Apple’s flagship software in 2001, iTunes has been a well-organized way to store my music, make playlists, and sync with iPods. It still does all of those same things, but over time my list of complaints has grown. For one thing, I’m currently typing on a computer without iTunes installed. I want it here, but unfortunately I clicked “Yes” to upgrade to the latest version 3 days ago. Despite several install attempts and endless searches through help forums, I’m without iTunes. I’m sure at some point I’ll figure it out, but WTF??? Furthermore, once I do get it installed, that won’t change the fact that iTunes is a memory hog. I consider myself to be a relatively tech-savvy guy, so I understand that when too many programs are running (or memory space is unavailable for other reasons) that you need to either cut back or buy more memory. I’ve done both of those things throughout my life to reduce PC memory issues, but iTunes continues to dominate the available space. If you want to do things like surf the web/play games/etc while you listen to music, immense programs like iTunes can hold you back. And don’t get me started on the iTunes store…what used to be a streamlined path to music has now become crowded with scrolling images, widgets everywhere, “quick” preview buttons, and recommendations that have never led me to anything I want to purchase. And the ultimate failure is Apple’s insistence on the world revolving around their products, because I am an Android user that would gladly upload an iTunes mobile app attached to their new iCloud service to buy and listen to music. But since I don’t own an iPhone, I’m left to scramble for alternatives. I’m fine with that, but ultimately Apple will lose those purchases to whatever other app I use. And sorry Mac users, but the correct answer isn’t always “then get an iPhone”!

Spotify came along to the U.S. this year, and I hoped it would save me from iTunes…

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read my thoughts on Spotify in Part 2!

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