Keren Gu's Picazón

Sharing and Scratching Itches Everywhere


2 Comments

How I Became a Spotify Premium User

It’s been 1.5 years since I started using Spotify. Over the past 18 months, what has Spotify, a brand, a software, a logo done to me to turn myself into a premium user? I was never like this before. I would never pay. This is a quest to examine “why I’m paying $9.99 a month”.

When it all started in August 2011, I was browsing the web like any other day. Found this new green music software and thought I’d try it out. Like many new things that we try, we try them with friends. I chatted a couple friends and made them download as well.

On my first day, I starred 2 songs that I was crazy about, both by Adele. Then looking back at my history, I was “favorite-ing” songs on almost every other day for the next week — normal behavior for new users. Then I was adding new songs every week, and probably listening daily as I worked on my problem sets. Still, I wasn’t paying a penny, and MIT’s super speedy internet was free. (Well, included in the tuition.)

At this point, a number of my friends has already left Spotify. Reasons included: Continue reading


Leave a comment

App Developing: Preserve The Great Singalong Moments

While watching the delayed-live-broadcast of The Voice finale, I had an Ah-Ha moment.

I got an idea for an app 😉

The Ah-Hah! Moment

But before I pitch my idea, I’ll give a sense of the setting: it was around bedtime in Beijing, and I just finished working for the day, in bed. I don’t follow the Voice or anything, but for the past week in China, there really isn’t anything on TV besides HBO and AXN, which plays TV shows like … the Voice, and very old CSI episodes.

So the show was building up the suspense for who’s going to become America’s next top… I mean, winner of the Voice, there were a lot of singing by the finalists, songs of different genre, and famous people like Bruno Mars were popping on and off the stage. Wait,

I need to add a crucial detail that led to my moment: before turning on the TV, I was doing something that’s not exactly my pre-bed ritual, but more of a celebratory act from the hard work I did… (It’s really hard to describe. It’s one of those things that you do, when… ) Okay fine, I’ll admit, I was solo Karaoke-ing with Tunewiki, on Spotify, in bed. It was like rewarding and relaxing myself.

Anyways, while watching the Voice, I was like, “man, I wish I could singalong to these songs, all of which I don’t know the lyrics to.”  I could, listen to the lyrics and google it. But I had already closed my laptop, and it takes so much energy and will power to open it again. Even if I had googled it, by the time I match the lyrics, the song would have been over! Not worth it.

I just wished that my phone could maybe listen to the song, and figure out the name (like that app, Shazam), and then google search the lyrics for me.

Okay, I suck at telling stories, but that was my AH-HAh moment. I know I kind of ruined it, but lets move on now.

The Idea

That idea up there, that is SO easy to make! (Can I make it? Probably. Probably not anytime soon. But it’s soo possible!)

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, so I looked it up. I found Android Karaoke, which appears to have a terrible description of itself and its use. First, purple isn’t a People-color. It’s not classy. It’s weird to have the entire app purple, despite purple being my favorite color. Second, the app claims to “Kill waiting time at aiports, bus stops, etc”. Do you see what’s wrong here? Can you imagine yourself, or anyone, waiting at the airport with your headphones on, but practicing your “singing talent”, OUT LOUD? Not cool. Don’t do that.

The Pitch

Instead, my proposal, (lets call it, The Greatest Singalong) will let you, and your friends, singalong to songs at the bar, or parties, or even just watching The Voice at home. All it takes is a simple click of a button, the app will first act like Shazam, (we can even call the app, Shazam & Sing,) and then fetch the lyrics for you, to your palm. It won’t scroll, so you’ll have to do that yourself, but I guess it could scroll if you want it to.

Advanced: It would be cool for the app to track, via real time, where the music is at, and pause the scroll of the music accordingly. It would just be your personal singalong assistant.

If there’s an app like this, I’d get one. In fact, there IS one for your Mac: it’s called Sing Along, which based on the review, could be better.