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The Advantage of a “Not Perfect” Music App

I’ve been playing with music subscription apps recently and I’m coming to the conclusion that a non perfect music app may be better for me than one with “perfect” suggestions.

My Streaming Service Background

For context, I remember trying Spotify a long time ago before smartphones were really a thing. I used it for a lot of my university career to test new music but I still bought albums as well. However, around the time I moved to Ukraine, I started using Google play music. The idea of backing up my CD collection and then streaming it made perfect sense to me (plus I wouldn’t have to pay for a music streaming service).

Even though I still loved CD and music shopping (the process of flicking through albums, looking at the album art etc). When the addition of the unlimited collection came along thanks to google play unlimited, I felt that it was the perfect deal and I soon subscribed. Since then I haven’t switched. But now I think I want to.

Too good selections

Google Play Music knows my taste so well that it always serves up good suggestions of bands I know and a few new ones. But overtime these suggestions have become too samey. Another indie guitar band with maybe some electronic influence.

When I tried Apple Music two years ago, I loved the radio shows that served up such eclectic music. I was discovering groups I’d never heard of before in genre’s I wasn’t really a fan of. Sure, there were songs I wanted to skip, but there were also songs I gave a go just because they were on. These weren’t neccaserily “my taste” but they served to expand my taste.

Google Play music is great for background music

Google play does a great job of serving background and relaxing music selections including instrumental music, if you like to work to that, and if that’s what you want your music for, it’s a great service. But you can find background playlists on other services.

What about Spotify?

Spotify is the most popular service and has been around for the longest time. It supposed to have a great feature in “discovery weekly” for suggesting new music and I know that I can get a cheaper rate in Poland as they have a cheaper local price. This means spending less money and using a service that many regard as the best.

Conclusion

However, as an Apple user, there are distinct benefits to using the default apps in the Apple ecosystem. Apple offers extra links within the system. Sometimes it’s as simple as being the default service when you plug in your headphones so if you click play, it’s often Apple Music.
So I’m playing with a few different services, but the conclusion I find most interesting is that sometimes, “perfect” suggestions aren’t what I want. And, applying this to a broader cultural context that I’ve just thought of, it can be the same as world views. Not having your view challenged doesn’t help you progress or find something new.

What music service do you use and why?

About Chris Wilson

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