I know you’ve heard that vinyl is making a comeback.
What about streaming music? How does that work?
Spotify is the biggest service in streaming. It is run by a person named Daniel Ek. His current net worth is five billion dollars.
Despite Daniel’s best efforts to become richer, I am going to reveal the one sneaky trick that billionaires hate that will allow you to use Spotify for free and without ads!
One: get the free version of Spotify
You do not have to pay for Spotify. They want you to, but you do not have to. Yet. The company has yet to turn a profit as of 2022. So, any day now… this sneaky trick for the Spotify desktop app may vanish.
Two: pick one song
I chose “Grasp the Bug” by Man is the Bastard, a powerviolence band from Claremont, California. My second runner-up was “I Wanna Destroy You” by The Soft Boys (a little too on the nose, perhaps). My all-time fantasy pick would be the 33 minute one-track roar of Boredoms’ “Super Roots 3 [Hard Trance Away (Karaoke of Cosmos)]” but that song is not available on Spotify.
If a song is not available on streaming, does it make a sound?
Three: set Spotify to repeat play one song
You can do this with a green thinger that looks as below when set correctly, to the right of the play button.
Four: Listen to just that song forever
I have been listening to the ascending riff and barbaric yawp of “Grasp the Bug” for the past month each time I log on. I hope to do so for a calendar year, at least. Be careful! Lots of slippery/shiny things you might click on will undo this, and Daniel’s employees are monitoring each fraction of a second of your listening time. Every click you make, every breath you take… they’ll be watching you. Just press “play” once you have set this up each time you log on. For me? No ads. No interruptions. Just Man is the Bastard. Forever.
Five: Solve your new problem
Now you can only use Spotify to listen to one song.
What a great problem to have!
There are so many other ways to listen to and enjoy music that do not involve Spotify! Buy physical releases from a band’s merch table. Download tracks on a service that actually pays artists more fairly for their creative work. Patronize a band’s online store. Check out Radio Plastique, a locally conceived product designed to fill the gap left by the Baltimore area’s lack of a freeform radio station (we did have an excellent one once upon a time).
What the people that engineered Spotify want to do with their product is to make it ubiquitous, convenient, and “frictionless”. It’s just there. You use it. Whatever.
The blood on Spotify’s hands in terms of artist’s livelihoods is tucked off to the side, out of your line of vision.
But what if the sleeping body awakened? What if those who have engaged in wholesale digital rip-off for their own profit because they were good at computers and few steps ahead of the law had to turn and face the bloody knuckles of all those they have stepped on?
Until then… don’t let Spotify use you.
Thanks for reading my column on how to use Spotify. Happy streaming!