I love music. It’s an extremely important part of my life and has been for a long time. I was forever listening to the newest cassette tape on my boombox as a kid (remember those?) and loved having a CD player in my car when I first started to drive. I sang in the shower, and in the basement, and well, really, anywhere until my parents or my brother begged me to stop. I went to concerts and freaked out over boy bands and girl groups. As a listener, music defined my childhood and adolescence.
In high school, I became the performer — and I gave a lot for music.
Like dressing as a nun in “The Sound of Music”…
Or wearing the fake eyelashes and gallon of hairspray that my role in “Anything Goes” required…
But, who am I kidding, I don’t think I’ve ever looked so glamorous in my life…
Sadly, my music performing days are over…and even though I jokingly say I “gave a lot” for music, the real truth is that music has given a lot to me, which is why is such an important part of my daily life.
I listen to music constantly. If I’m in the pool, I have my iPod plugged in to speakers. If I’m using my iPad or laptop, I have headphones plugged in.
Music got me through college and grad school. It is the ultimate motivator to write long papers — not to mention a Master’s thesis. My campus office was always full of music too.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pandora, it is a free internet radio with customizable stations. As you continue to fine tune your radio stations by adding new artists and songs you like, and giving thumbs up or thumbs down to the songs Pandora plays for you, Pandora becomes more and more tuned to what you want to listen to. Pandora’s choices aren’t always perfect, but sometimes I think it can read my mind…
On the other hand, Spotify is sort of a hybrid between the iTunes online music store and Pandora. A European creation, Spotify only debuted in the U.S. last summer, but in the year that I’ve had it I cannot imagine not having it at my daily disposal. Rather than an internet radio that plays songs at random, you control the songs you want to hear by searching a huge music library like the one iTunes boasts and adding songs to your playlist. Spotify is a downloadable program that you install on your computer (or as an app on your mobile device). Unlike iTunes and like Pandora, you can listen to the entire song for free. Spotify does have its limits though. It is only free to a certain extent. On average, you can listen to 10 hours of songs per month for free, and sometimes you are limited to the number of times a month you can listen to an individual song.
Spotify offers subscriptions for either $5 or $10 a month that allow unlimited listening and access to your playlists offline and on other devices like iPads and smartphones.
The small fee, regardless of which subscription you choose, is well worth it.
When I first got Spotify last year, I thought I might never use Pandora again. But, I’ve come to realize that Pandora and Spotify don’t need to be rivals — they work best together.
When I want something new to listen to, I’ll hop onto Pandora for awhile and see what its musical ESP will tell me. Then, I’ll add that song (if available) onto my Spotify playlist.
It’s really the best of both worlds. My playlist is now so eclectic and rich that sometimes I can’t even believe the range of songs I listen to….
So, what am I currently singing along to? Here’s an look at my current playlist:
Song playing right now: Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls (Hey! Don’t judge, I blame the Olympics)
Newest obsession: Miranda Lambert
Most Listened to Artist: Glee Cast
Current Favorite Song: “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran
Current Guilty Pleasure Song: