I hate Spotify

I have an irrational (or maybe not) hatred of Spotify. I find it useful for researching single tracks, but I don’t ever use it for listening to music on. My heart sinks every time I click on a link to find it’s a Spotify link (maybe people should flag them up, with “Spot” or something!).

These are the reasons I hate it:

  • I can’t use it at work, which is where I listen to music most.
  • I mainly listen to new music that isn’t on there yet.
  • I’m not convinced of its usefulness to me enough to buy it yet, so I’m stuck with the ads. Some say they are not that intrusive, but I’ve never listened to music interrupted by ads in my life, I’m not going to start now.
  • I don’t like having to open yet another app, I’d rather be able to listen to stuff in my browser/iTunes.
  • I like to “own” music, I don’t trust my music library/playlists etc. in the hands of a third party. Also I don’t trust myself to ‘remember’ all the music I like. At least I know that I like all the music I own (I’m not a completist: if I own it, I like it).
  • The UI is fugly

In its defense, several friends have raved about its sharing capabilities, but I can’t see me making use of this unless I used it a lot.

Convince me. If you want.

Update: this post was a result of a comment I made over here. For sharing purposes, what I need is some kind of browser-based thing that I can add my online streaming finds to (e.g. Soundcloud, Hype Machine), that could play the streaming audio through a common interface. Failing that, I could just use a tumblr to share stuff.

Update 2: After a lengthy Twitter convo with @craigfots, I want to add some more thoughts:

  • I want to listen to brand new tracks as soon as they are available (if not sooner!). I don’t want to have to wait for them to go through the aggregation procedure to get onto Spotify. And not all the tracks I’m interested in will appear on Spotify. That’s because Spotify are in control, not me.
  • Spotify feels too much like a walled garden. I want to be able to add any track I find online: one-off tracks/experiments/mashups/white labels/DIY cool stuff that finds its way onto YouTube or SoundCloud etc. Spotify kind of goes against one of the things I love most about the web, that anyone can create content. I basically want the same control as I have with my iTunes. It’s just a player, I can put any track in it. Need that for streaming. Even better, I’m looking for a generic tool that can combine these (mp3 player + stream from anywhere + my control) and am happy to pay for that tool when I find it!
  • I want one place/tool to go to for all my audio. I don’t want to use Spotify for established artists and something else for an experimental DIY track I just found online. Want it all in the same place, see above.

2 thoughts on “I hate Spotify

  1. tigershungry

    I don’t think I’ll win you round, but I’m not trying to just wanted to counter your points with the reasons why it works for me.

    - I can use it at work. Also have paid subscription and an iphone which makes a huge impact.

    - Agreed there’s a lot of stuff that isn’t on there, but often I’m surprised by some of the artists who are and its just easier when everything’s in one place. Plus I can pull in from iTunes stuff I own that isn’t on there.

    -I pay for premium so no ads for me. I see it like a trade off from buying 1 new album a month for £10, to instead having access to umpteen new albums a month

    - I’m glad it doesn’t sit in the browser. I used to rely on a browser based app for twitter and it just frustrated me. Overall there are more times that I want to listen to music and not be on the net then vice versa. But then agree something which links into hype machine and soundcloud would be useful. As for itunes, I loathe it and after a year-ish on spotify can’t adjust back to it. Its so round the houses to set up an ongoing playlist and line up tracks…plus as said i can pull one into the other but not the other way round.

    -I’m very bad at owning things. Discs are never in the right cases. Music files are all over the shop and not properly backed up. I’m better off without the responsibility.

    - Agreed its not pretty.

    Overall I agree its not perfect, the sound quality isn’t top notch and levels are often skewiff, but for me that’s stuff I can overlook. Because in terms of instant access to such a large catalogue of updated new music and ability to share social playlists I wouldn’t be without it.

    God, do I sound like I’m payed to say this?

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