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Redwood Bark

Utopia or Dystopia? The hidden history of Bay Area cults
Utopia or Dystopia? The hidden history of Bay Area cults
Linnea Koblik and Tallulah Knill AllenJuly 12, 2024

Silhouetted against the sweeping landscapes of the Bay and the Marin Headlands, the Bay Area is well known for its position in the counterculture...

Public protests and perspectives
Public protests and perspectives
Ava Stephens, Gabriella Rouas, Aanika Sawhney, Nadia Massoumi and Grace GehrmanJune 29, 2024

Reflejando otra vez con los ELD seniors
Reflejando otra vez con los ELD seniors
Ava CarlsonJune 27, 2024

El año pasado, tuve la oportunidad de hablar con estudiantes del grado 12 en la clase de English Language Development (ELD) sobre sus experiencias...

Music streaming hits the spot

Your cursor hovers over the “buy” button, just one click away from spending $1.29 on a song that after a month of nonstop playing will undoubtedly end up making your ears bleed with each repetitive listen. As you contemplate your purchase one last time, your feelings change from excitement for the song you are about to buy to pure bitterness as you remember the halcyon days when songs were a mere 99 cents. If only there were a way to listen to songs for free! Oh wait…

Welcome to Spotify.

This Swedish-based music streaming service allows the listener to browse through and listen to over 13 million tracks completely free of charge for 6 months with only occasional commercial interruptions through the use of cloud-computing technology. And it is legal.

With a layout similar to that of iTunes, Spotify enables its users to search for specific songs, artists, and albums and play them through their computers and, with Spotify Premium, through their cell phones. Users can also create their own playlists and listen to playlists created by other Spotify users.

Signing up for Spotify is done through Facebook, and once the Spotify account has been created a world of full-length free music is available quite literally at the fingertips of the user.

With Spotify, the enervating days of having to glean the virtual pages of Youtube to listen to a tinny-sounding version of a song that you do not own are long gone. Similarly, no longer need you become enraged when the one minute 30 second preview of an iTunes song is over.

However, after the 6-month free trial period users are given a cap on the number of listening hours per month they may use, as well as a cap on the number of plays per specific track.

For those who cannot bear the notion of having to endure the occasional advertisement or have exhausted their free trial period, Spotify offers two alternatives for an additional cost. The first is known as Spotify Unlimited, and for $4.99 per month it allows the user unlimited streaming of music in addition to having no advertisements and “enhanced” sound quality.

Spotify Premium, which costs $9.99 per month, not only has the qualities of Spotify Unlimited as well as the ability to play songs through a home audio system, but is also offers a mobile version, offline mode that enables users to listen to Spotify on-the-go through their cell phones.

With the ability to stream songs through one’s cell phone without needing internet access, Spotify Premium is ideal for travel. Rather than carrying around CDs, which only serve to take up space, or an Mp3 player, which can be costly to update and a burden to fill with one’s latest song interests, with Spotify Premium users can painlessly and almost instantly update their playlists with a song they have just heard. What is perhaps the best feature of Spotify is that all of this can be done anywhere, anytime, and without the use of any of the perpetually-tangling cables that typically come with Mp3 players.

According to its website, Spotify attempts to offer a “new way” to listen to music, and that is precisely what it does. However, while it does present a new means to listen to music, that is not to say that it should replace the old means.

With Spotify, users are able to listen to and share music without having to pay a cent out of pocket.

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About the Contributor
Diana Tarrazo, Author