A few weeks back when out for my birthday, a few friends got into a discussion on Pandora VS Spotify. It went exactly how I expected it to – with my city-living, design-enthusiast Spotify-loving friend telling my suburb-living, just-plays-music-but-doesn’t-care-what-it-is Pandora-loving friend that Spotify was the best. I am a Spotify user – it’s the one subscription I actually pay for (I don’t even have Netflix!). The main sell for me – and really everyone – is that with Spotify you have the ability to create your own playlists. While Pandora and Spotify both offer stations based on an artist, song, or genre of music, Spotify has me hooked with the ability to save my favorites and create my own lists. My real favorite thing though, is the ability to download playlists for use offline (only available to subscribers). This way, at the gym, driving, or on a flight, I still have access to my playlists! No data needed.
The other reason I love Spotify is its insanely wonderful ability at predicting what you like. Below are a few of my favorite things to listen to on Spotify:
When you’re a Spotify listener – free or paid – Spotify curates a weekly playlist based on what you listen to. It’s a really fun way to find new music, and it provides an extra pep in my step heading into work on Monday morning, excited for a new playlist. Remember though: the lists are recreated every Monday morning, so don’t forget to save your favorites before then!
Release Radar is another curated list from Spotify that is updated when there are new releases from your favorite artists. I found out about Jack Johnson’s recent new singles through it – and I might not have noticed without it! Again, it’s almost guaranteed some of these new releases will make it onto a longstanding playlist because they’re from artists I love.
Smart is the New Sexy
While I can’t help but laugh at the name of this playlist – I love it! I’ve found it’s a great one for ambient noise for me – whether cooking, entertaining or blogging at home.
The other genre of things I felt like I needed to recommend but everyone probably already knows about — is podcasts. I was really late to the podcast bandwagon, and I still wouldn’t say I’m a superfan, but I’ve found a few I really love that are worth sharing.
Reply All is quite simply, a podcast about the internet. Recommended to me by my roommate, it has become my first recommendation to others who are interested in listening to podcasts but don’t know where to start. Typically, each show, one of the two cohosts has researched and explored a topic and is letting the other cohost in on what they found out. This way, you get a good mix of really learning about a subject, and participating in the conversation with the two of them. Topics range from trying to hack their boss through email, talking with an Australian teen who made a boring Facebook group into a global phenomenon, and learning about people who hear voices in their heads and their online community. It sounds crazy, but it’s just crazy good. Bonus: the cohosts have the most infectious laughs when they get going.
Dear Sugars is hosted by Cheryl Strayed (author of the book Wild, which was then made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon) and Steve Almond, and is based on the advice column they used to write. People write in, and Cheryl and Steve talk through their advice in the show. I love it for a few reasons – most importantly because it reminds me that my problems really aren’t that big, and that everyone is going through life unsure of their decisions. This podcast is more geared towards advice in love and relationships – but topics range from moving on from someone cheating on you, to family problems at weddings.
What other podcasts do you listen to? I’m always looking for recommendations off the beaten path.