By Justine Goode
Before Liliana Muscarella ’12 opens her books to start studying, she opens up her laptop and double clicks a round green icon on her desktop. A small white window pops up on her screen, asking her to login to her Spotify account. Once she does, a gray window with a sidebar and a search box appears that looks similar to iTunes. But unlike the popular music program, Spotify allows Muscarella to listen to songs from its vast database for free.
Spotify allows users to search for specific artists, songs and albums and add them to their “queue”, a temporary playlist that clears each time the program is closed. Users can also import their iTunes libraries and playlists they’ve already created with their own music. The most distinctive feature of Spotify is its social networking aspect—users can connect to their Facebook accounts from the program and share playlists and individual songs with other Facebook friends using the program. They can also choose to post the songs they’re currently listening to directly to Facebook.
Muscarella heard about Spotify from a friend whom she often shares music suggestions with. They planned to use the social networking features to send songs and share playlists with each other, a more streamlined method than sending each other YouTube links or listening to 30 second clips of songs on iTunes.
“iTunes is technically better because you actually own the song and can take it with you, and I don’t think Spotify’s as good as Pandora in terms of finding new songs and artists in certain genres,” Muscarella said, referring to the popular music website that picks songs for users based on other songs and artists they like. “But [Spotify] is really useful for listening to a whole song and having it handy before you decide if you want to buy it. Before I kept going to YouTube and would keep my favorite possibilities open in separate windows, which got annoying.”
Tamara Fox ’13 also appreciates the social aspect of Spotify.
“It’s a way to get to know what music your friends like, as well as discover artists that you might not have been aware of before,” Fox said. “Also, the fact that you have access to everyone’s playlists is really helpful because instead of having to make your own, you can listen to friends’.”
Math teacher Bill Thill started using Spotify at a friend’s suggestion, after realizing his iTunes library needed updating.
“I recognized that the last time I checked my iTunes music, it was looking a little…well, dated,” Thill said. “I’m feeling like an old fogey with my music choices, and a friend of mine recommended Spotify to update my music options. I like the fact I can see what my cooler friends are listening to before buying or downloading.”
The ability to search and listen to entire songs is significant and Muscarella have both found artists with the program. Muscarella discovered the singer Emeli Sandé, and tUnE-yArDs and Friendly Fires, Fox found with the program as well.