I am not necessarily proud to admit this but although I have had an iPod for many years, I have never purchased any music in the iTunes library. I just had the feeling that it was not something that I would value in the long term. What I did is what most people that feel the way I do have done – I took all my CD’s and moved them to my iPod. With 2,000 songs (my own eclectic variety), I had plenty of music to listen to. Until listening to the same 2,000 songs got old. 2,000 songs is not enough.
A couple of years ago I downloaded the free version of Spotify on my computers. I wrote about it and am no less enamored of the service than I was at the start. As a ‘free’ service – with ads every few songs or so Spotify is a great service. I find it (presently) to be better than Pandora since I can search for anything I can think of and there’s a very good chance that I will find the exact song I am looking for or at least ‘a’ version of the song or performance. Just to be clear not every artist licenses their content to Spotify or any of the subscription music services.
What the free version of Spotify does not enable is to search individual artists and music when using a tablet or mobile device. Since I was tired of listening to the same old songs (and I mean OLD) on my iPod I made the choice to sign up for a three-month trial (for the price of one month) of the paid service. At $10/month it’s very affordable and I am more engaged in all kinds of music than I have been in a long time.
I am a bit concerned about data usage when I am streaming music when out of Wi-Fi range but so far that has not been an issue. What I like most is that I am only limited by my imagination and I am listening to music more regularly than I have been in years.
Beats is coming out with their own subscription service and there are others like Roxio in addition to Spotify and Pandora. More choices will hopefully mean monthly pricing will remain somewhat steady at least for the foreseeable future.
I think subscription music services are good for consumers and hope that they are good for the artists (there are varying views on that). What do you think? How are you buying your music these days?