Spotify sucks

Feb 2, 2020 [update]

Wow it's been a long time! We got an Android TV and I chastised wife for putting ad-filled Spotify in the common airwaves of our home, so now she's bought us all a Spotify subscription again. And I'm not really willing to do the level of investigation necessary to check all of my old complaints, but I have used it a very small amount over the last month and have a few things to report.

Sep 2, 2011

I really think this whole concept of having a complete catalog at your fingertips on all of your devices is top notch, so I have been trying some services to that end. Rhapsody sucks. Grooveshark also sucks, but happens to have the best UI (though it is still shitty) (and at least it is free). While I was conducting this tour, Spotify came to the US market, so I decided to give it a try.

I've been using it for about two weeks now, and I paid for it.

Spotify sucks.

But not quite as much as Rhapsody does.

But almost that much.

So, really, that's not nearly as infuriating as Rhapsody was. Mostly because the client works, and the search function works. But man is the client's queue really extra super stupid beyond all belief. But at least you can work around the stupid and then it behaves in a consistent and predictable fashion -- it is stupid, not broken.

But I cannot overstate how lame it is that they cut out songs longer than 10 minutes. And then the total failure to have complete discographies is also epic. This shit sucks.

The whole point of this service is for me to explore music I don't know. But it is when I am exploring new artists that it is most imperative to have a complete discography. It is hard for me to find worthwhile suggestions, but when I get one, to find that that album is unavailable is pretty disappointing. And it is even more obnoxious when I am testing the waters with a new artist, and Spotify says they only have one album, and that album sucks. Since I don't know anything about the artist, I will think the artist sucks. Once I had the suspicion that Spotify's catalog is patheticly small, I started searching for artists I already know I like, and I have found specifically that the more I like something, the more likely Spotify is to be missing it. This is exactly wrong.

In other words, the specific problem with Grooveshark that I'm willing to pay money to solve is the fact that Grooveshark's collection is woefully inadequate. Problem status: still unsolved.

Spotify fucking sucks.

One of the things I have learned, which I hope the next competitor will also learn, is that once you solve the problem of amassing a large collection (which Spotify has not), you will still face the problem of organizing it. And there is obviously only one way to resolve that problem: crowd-sourcing. Someone knows that Daniel Barenboim is a pianist; Isaac Stern is a violinist; the New York Philharmonic is their backing band; Beethoven is a composer; Violin Concerto in D Major is a synonym for Op. 61; and 1806 (composition) is not the same year as 1975 (performance). And that person is likely to care enough to fill in the meta-data. Of course, before you get there you have to come up with a more extensible meta-data, and a search function that is slightly more detailed than the pure-keyword approach they use today.