Tag Archives: spotify

DESPOTify

This week’s Dustinland comic is a music nerd jab at Alexa and all the other voice operated smart speakers out there that play music for you. Actually it’s not really a jab at the speakers themselves, really more of a jab at people with bad tastes in music. Or a jab at people with obnoxious, snooty tastes in music, if you want to think of it that way. I don’t know why I keep saying “jab.” I never say that. Jab.

Also just to be clear, despot is “a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.” It’s not a highly used word but I found it perfect for this imaginary app. Which, to be honest, would be pretty great. If any coding nerd wants to create it, let’s do it! It would probably be about 5000x more work for you than for me, but I did come up with a pretty sweet idea, name and comic, so that sounds about fair. Man, I bet people who can code get approached with ideas like this ALLLL the time. Must be super annoying.

Infinite Playlist

I’ve been thinking about the topic of this week’s Dustinland for a while now. It’s the whole Spotify thing. Not just the idea of renting music. The idea that you can just press a button and magically have an album, basically for free. It’s not even the same as illegal downloading. Even that required a bit or work or at least risk. This is just so effortless. People thought illegal downloading devalued music but I wonder if this is even worse.

Don’t get me wrong—I know music is as popular as ever. I just wonder if we’ll have less music-obsessed High Fidelity type nerds in the future. Less passionate music addicts. I mean, people are going to grow up in a world without mixes! Making someone a mix is such an amazingly personal expression—it’s like making a painting for someone. Something you’d slave over to get just right, like a DJ working on a set for some huge festival. Now… what? You can share your entire collection without any effort. What’s the fun of that? It’s all just so disposable now. So casual. Is there even such a thing a cool music collection anymore? Remember going to someone’s house and being wowed by their music—records, tapes, CDs, whatever… Will anyone ever be impressed by someone’s Spotify lists?

It’s tough. The unlimited access is awesome of course, but an entire music lover culture is being wiped away by it. Maybe it will be replaced by a new one that’s just as cool but in different ways. I hope so, I honestly do.