When I was an undergrad I loved iTunes. I loved to sit in the library on campus and browse all the shared music libraries available over the campus network. There were hundreds of libraries. Some were identifiable to individuals, others, not so much
…Banana Cucumber Omelet
I think those may have been the best days for iTunes.
Apple tried to turn iTunes into a social network, but they never realized that the social power of iTunes wasn’t in the “network,” per se, but rather in the media. It was a media platform with in-built sharing features. Passive connection, with communal feelings.
When I was an undergrad I loved iTunes until Spotify came around. Spotify changed the game. Spotify delivered on the promise of Groove Shark — the ability to listen to more or less whatever you wanted to without needing to make the monetary commitment of owning a song or album. Without needing to maintain a personal library.
iTunes was for librarians while Spotify was for the hungry. An iTunes library took cultivation and care to maintain. Spotify just required an appetite. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. I still have my iTunes library, but it is neglected and oft ignored. I only catch a few notes of a song now and again when my phone starts to play music from the default library when I connect via bluetooth.
I loved to sit in the library on campus and browser other folks’ music libraries. Now Spotify serves me Discover Weekly and Daily Mix playlists. I discover new and fascinating music to listen to…but it is different. It is catered to my liking, even if unknowingly. Spotify knows me and my tastes better than I can probably articulate. It serves me what it has calculated I’ll like. I don’t necessarily get to sample from the bitter or divergent when Spotify serves me what it thinks I’ll like…well, I mean, I can if I try. But Spotify doesn’t make the recommendation. Does it?
I loved to sit in the library. Mine and others.