Tag Archives: Pandora

Lucifer’s Own Pandora’s Box

She has a personal, destructive beauty, one not many can fall for. He is the only one to see it. With her red eyes and ebony wings, Aria holds Lucifer’s heart. Her love for the devil is only outweighed by the corruption inside her.

Lucifer ignores it, for a time. He understands she wants the same sensation he felt when he fell from grace. Only until she became his personal Pandora’s box did he take notice. Heartbreak, disease, famine, death. Aria has control of them, and much worse.

“My love, you must stop this,” Lucifer tenderly whispers, grasping her by the biceps with pleading eyes.

Aria growls and shoves him away. “You don’t tell me what to do!” Eyes like rubies in sunlight, her anger stems from his need to control her.

girl and box
“Her love for the devil is only outweighed by the corruption inside her.” Photo from: http://pre14.deviantart.net/152d/th/pre/i/2013/063/d/f/pandora_s_box_by_sirocco_rc-d5wybx3.jpg

Lucifer knows he can fix her, but only by using the hope lying at the bottom of the box. He grabs her arm with a jerk and takes her to her fallen meadow. Lucifer holds Aria close until their skin seems like it will fuse together.

He speaks the only words that will free Aria. “I free you from my hold and the hold of God.”

Aria is left limp in his embrace, eyes fluttered shut. All that is left of her wings is a handful of feathers at his feet. A blush returns to her cheeks, and her slate-colored nails are replaced with clean, uncolored ones. Aria’s hair turns to a light chestnut as Lucifer holds her in his lap. She is mortal, human. He strokes her cheek as her eyes open, revealing two eyes of sea green. The only words to have broken the devil were her first mortal words of freedom.

“Do I know you?”

Spotify changes its privacy policy to be the next big thing in social media

If you have Spotify, you might’ve noticed a little pop-up that says you have a certain number of days to accept the new privacy policy or you won’t be able to use the service. If you’re a tech news junkie, you also know that this led to several days of fear mongering after WIRED published an article (which has since been edited) comparing Spotify to a crazy girlfriend who suddenly wants to know everything that goes on in your phone.

The backlash from the obscure changes led Spotify to come out with a clarified version of the new policy which details exactly what your shared information will be used for, and although it does seem to be asking for a lot, was the backlash really necessary?

Whose side are you on?
Whose side are you on? Graphic from Shake The Tech

It’s understandable just weeks after the Ashley Madison hack that people might be a little nervous about what information they let their services have. After all, what use would Spotify have with your contacts, location, and photos? It’s just a music app, isn’t it?

No, it isn’t. Spotify is and always was a social media app. It took the Internet radio idea of Pandora, and improved on it by giving you your own profile where you could make playlists and share them with your friends and the world. Though it hasn’t been used much this way, that’s the model Spotify wants, and the big reason these changes are being made.

Spotify wants you to be able to connect with people of similar music interests, thus making you and everyone else an influencer of your particular variety of music. That’s the unique appeal of Spotify’s social media component, and almost nobody uses it in that way. The hope is that in future updates, Spotify will be able to allow you to upload photos, connect with your contacts, and find suggestions for new music. Wouldn’t you want a social media network that actually brings you something of value like new music, rather than an endless supply of obscure music quotes that might vaguely suggest your friend had a bad day.

Both Pandora and Spotify have incredibly complex algorithms that are always working to figure you out. You might not even know that you like songs that have subtle harmonies in the chorus, or songs that start out with an acoustic intro but then transition into a heavy electric riff, but the services do. It might seem like an invasion of privacy to guess your most subconscious likes and dislikes, but, at the same time, you would never use an internet radio app that keeps giving you that one band you don’t like after you thumbs-down three of their songs. You’d like them to learn from your tastes and work towards building the perfect station for you.

I like my privacy as much as anyone else. That’s why there’s a whole playlist I hide from Facebook so no one knows what songs I’m not proud of liking. But social media does like to pry into your personal life, and it’s really up to you what you decide to share. Spotify, just like any other social media, can’t use any information you don’t give it, so be smart and enjoy the music.

 

 

Spotify and Pandora make iTunes obsolete

Much like what iTunes did to the CD business, Spotify and Pandora radio are quickly becoming the preferred source of music for millions of listeners.

Why would you pay for music when it’s legally free on the internet? For the price of a modem and a monthly internet bill, you can have access to more music than you will ever be able to listen to. If I care about the health of my wallet then I’m more likely to look up a song on youtube than pay $1.29 on iTunes. It’s free and it’s legal; why would you spend the money?

Pandora burst on scene 14 years ago becoming a mainstay for any causal music fan. According to the 2011 United States of America Census, the U.S. found that 71.7 percent of Americans had access to the internet at home. Almost three quarters of all Americans can listen to any genre of music they want for free with Pandora radio.

Pandora and Spotify have the upper hand over iTunes. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Pandora and Spotify have the upper hand over iTunes. Graphic by Katie Gibson

Pandora’s catch is in the term ‘radio’. Pandora operates in a way that allows the user to control nearly every aspect of the music being listened to except the ability to request a specific song. Whim’s Editor in Chief, Julian Guerra prefers Pandora and so do plenty of other college students. Pandora’s platform is perfect for anyone who will be working at a computer for a few hours; we can all suffer through a few advertisements if it means we can focus on that term paper we’ve been putting off. Pulling all-nighters isn’t such a bad thing when Pandora is on your side.

What about when you’re craving some “Baba O’Reilly (Teenage Wastland)?” You can’t request that song on Pandora and frankly, YouTube is rather annoying when you have to constantly be picking the next song. This is where Spotify comes into play.

Spotify is a downloadable application that aims to merge your music with your Facebook friends. You can follow friends to see what they listen to and even follow their specific playlists. That awesome party mix you heard last Friday might just become yours the next time you throw a shindig.

Spotify is miraculous in the way it operates; as long as you have an internet connection, you can listen to nearly any song for free. It has a layout similar to iTunes, but doesn’t ask for pocket change for every song. It does have sporadic advertisements like Pandora, but once again, most of us don’t seem to mind.

It seems that (thanks to Pandora and Spotify) the slippery business of digital music has turned iTunes into an obsolete option for students and music fans alike.

The impact of music

Perhaps no other art form throughout recent history has had a bigger impact on the world than music. Music is virtually everywhere. It’s on the radio, played in grocery stores, retail stores, and many other types of businesses. It’s in television commercials, appears on TV shows, and is played at many different festivals and group events.

medium_3353009973
Concerts are amazing. I’d recommend going! Photo from Creative Commons.

It’s hard to deny the impact music has had on society. Continue reading The impact of music

Spotify: The way of the future?

Spotify, Spotify, Spotify. It seems as if that’s all we hear about recently, but to be fair, it’s not that new. Spotify used to be a European-only service and was introduced to the US over the summer in beta and became officially open to all users as of November 2011. The service allows users to “save” music to their profile and listen to it whenever they want, kind of like if Pandora and iTunes had a baby (minus the random music generator via Pandora). The catch, of course, is that in order to listen to it anywhere, like on your iPhone for however long you want, you have to pay for it. Continue reading Spotify: The way of the future?

Spotify: yet another music revolution

Photo from Creative Commons

Spotify is a pay-for-music service which takes the good things from existing music services and mixes them all together in a giant stew pot. Spotify was predicted to be available for purchase earlier this year. However, recent news suggests it won’t be available for download until much later this year, if at all. The president of Spotify states the reason behind the delayed launch is that it was difficult trying to broker contracts with thousands of American publishers.

Spotify, in appearance, is very similar to iTunes with a sleek simple-to-use interface that has many of the same tabs and functions as iTunes. It also has the streaming capability of Pandora. Want to hear an artist but not sure if you want to buy the song? Just stream it and decide. Spotify allows you to create and play streaming playlists, leaving it up to the user how they plan to make use of the program. Along with the streaming aspect of Pandora, it also borrowed from the suggested artist concept giving users a list of artists they may also like.

Spotify does differ in some exciting ways from those two music services. Sharing a song or playlist with Spotify is as simple as one click to send it out to your friends. The one click option works with Facebook and Twitter, allowing it to cover the two large contenders in the social media field. With Spotify, users also set up their own accounts where they can also share music and show people what songs or artists they like.

The biggest draw for Spotify comes from the music streaming portion of the service. You go to a friend’s house and let’s say their music selection is on the sparse side. Download and log into Spotify, and there are all your playlists waiting there for you ready to be played, even the songs you have downloaded on your other computer. While the downloaded songs are not physically on your friend’s computer, the service remembers what they were and provides a streaming version of the song for your listening enjoyment. This means your music can go just about anywhere you go, whether you own it or not.

Another big part of Spotify is the syncing ability it has with mobile devices. It allows users to play local files, or streamed ones, on to your mobile device off your home network as long as the users’ computer or mobile devices are on the same wireless network. This is only available with the very top tier version of Spotify.

The premium tier of Spotify offers early listening, allowing users to view and hear music content weeks before its release. This allows those who are willing to pay more to truly get their hands on things before anyone else. It also includes an offline mode for both the computer-based program and a mobile app, allowing them much more independant freedom than in the other tiers of user ownership.

Spotify has a great deal of potential, but the tiered content and the fact that a lot of what they provide can be found elsewhere for free may put a hamper on the program’s success even before it’s launched. While it may face some obstacles here in the United States, it already has a strong following in Europe. It’s just a waiting game now to see how well that success in Europe translates to success in the United States.