This week will be a bit music-heavy, not so much about anything specific, but about what I have been doing in general. It honestly could almost be its own, separate post and topic, instead of a weekly wrap post.
Roughly, 4 months or so ago, Target Circle had a 3 months free offer for Apple Music and Apple TV. I have no interest in Apple TV’s content, sorry Ted Lasso. I did take the offer, so I could watch Tetris, then immediately set it to cancel. The Apple Music I did want to try out.
I don’t make it any sort of secret that I prefer buying music, but I am increasingly kind of wishing I had a paid streaming option, somewhat primarily so I can sample artists a bit easier. Also, sometimes I just want to listen to some particular song or artist and it is otherwise inconvenient to do. Amazon really fucking screwed me up with they broke Amazon Music. I will never forgive them. I owned a lot of my music through Amazon, and could just “pick up and listen” easily in their app. But the app started CONSTANTLY begging you to subscribe to the premium option, and then the last straw was that it no longer does anything but shuffle, even if you own it unless you subscribe.
So anyway, in the past, I have had a 6-month trial of Spotify, and I had a 3-month trial on Tidal, and I have some YouTube playlists but Vanced Player finally broke broke. The easy and obvious choice is Spotify. Everyone uses Spotify, it’s the defacto choice. I wasn’t super keen on Spotify because one, they don’t include HiFi Audio. Tidal charges extra (by a lot) so Tidal was out for this reason as well. Tidal in general is very expensive compared to everyone else. Secondly, Spotify pays artists pretty low compared to others. I like supporting artists.
I had decided Apple Music may be a good choice, this trial was a chance to try it out. And I subscribed for a month at the paid tier. What I wanted though, was to do the Family Plan. For like, $6 more, I could eliminate the headache of conflicting with my wife listening at home on the Echo while I was at work. For $6 more, I could let my kids have music as well, so they don’t have to rely on random services or YouTube.
Except it turns out, that Apple, does not have a web-based account management system for Apple Music. To manage family sharing, you MUST use an iPhone or a Mac. I don’t have either one of these. I am actually vaguely considering getting a Mac for my next laptop, but currently, I don’t have either. So that’s completely not happening.
So for now, I have canceled that Apple Music subscription, and I have decided to just go with Spotify. I probably don’t need the HiFi audio anyway, since most of this listening is done with Bluetooth to my earbuds or my car anyway, and I still pay artists directly buying music anyway.
The pain now is, Spotify gave me a 3-month discount deal, for a single plan. So my family may be slightly screwed out of that for a bit. I honestly don’t think they even care about the overall prospect of a music service anyway.
One thing though, which brings this a bit into “What I did this week”, is to consolidate all of my music across these services into Spotify. It didn’t take too long, because I have never used any of them for a super long term. I used a tool called Soundiiz, which came up as recommended for most of it. The free plan is a bit limited though, so some had to be done manually. I was going to just cough up the $3 for a month of their paid tier so it would be instant, but it’s only $3 if you “pay annually”, and it’s $4.50 otherwise. That extra $1.50 wasn’t the killer for me, it was the bull shit annoying “marketing deception”. I HATE that crap. If it had been upfront with “4.50/month” or “$36/year”, I would probably have just paid for a month.
The core transfer was mostly playlists, and only two were larger than the 200 song limit. So I just transferred them in multiple chunks and then merged them back into the Spotify App. For liked Artists, I just set up side-by-side windows and manually searched on Spotify. This also played nicely into another music project I had started on Apple Music to build a “Huge playlist of music I like that I can just play on shuffle”. You can find it here or below, and my profile is here.
I mentioned last week getting a bit of a bonus at work. That came through so I was a bit less restricted on a few things, in one case, with Humble Bundle, where I went for the following.
- Masterful 3D Platfomrs – Primarily because I wanted A Hat in Time, but also because I enjoy these sorts of games, especially after playing through Yooka Laylee recently.
- Tales from Wales Interactive – It’s cheap and I’ve been kind of wanting to try some of these FMV-style games, especially as I do like playing through CYOA Interactive Fiction text-style games.
- DinoFever – Bought almost exclusively for the Turok games, because at the moment I have been playing Quake II Remastered and I’m on a bit of an “old school FPS Kick”. Everything else looked pretty interesting as well, and it’s cheap.
- Dungeon Crawl Classics MEGA Bundle – I have this crazy fantasy that one day I will be able to play tabletop games. Please don’t judge me.
- Max and the Multiverse: A Sci-Fi Comedy Novel by Zachry Wheeler – It was free, sounded interesting
- An Enemy Reborn (Realms of Chaos) by Michael A. Stackpole, William F. Wu – I swear I have heard of this author before, and it sounded interesting. It looks like he has done some Star Wars books.
- The Hedge Knight (A Game of Thrones) by George RR Martin – Game of Thrones is still cool right? WHERE IS WINDS OF WINTER GEORGE???
- 15-Minute Spanish: Learn in Just 12 Weeks (DK 15-Minute Langauge Learning) – I am not quitting Duolingo, but I really feel like my Spanish learning is stalling a bit so I want to supplement it a bit again. I’m actually explicitly blaming Duo for this because they have changed the learning tree like 4 or 5 times now and every time it feels like they push my progress way back. I mean, the goal is to learn the language, not finish some arbitrary tree, but it’s really really discouraging.
- Woke Up Like This: A Novel by Amy Lea, Mindy Kaling – Every month Amazon Prime includes a selection of free books. I almost never read them and half the time I don’t redeem them, but I have been trying to pick out one just because it’s there.