Question of the day (3rd April).

Hey people! 🙂

Do you like to buy physical copies of CDs or download the digital version? Or do you only download the singles? (or do you just listen to the radio or something?)

My answer:

As I wrote in my answer to an earlier question of the day, I don’t have a CD player right now and I don’t listen to CD’s anymore. I have two main ways of listening to music these days. First I use streaming services – for me it’s Spotify because I find it the most accessible, most of all I like that they have an accessible desktop app, and it’s Swedish, haha. – I have a bit of a love-hate attitude and relationship with Spotify and streaming services in general. I love them because they offer a comfortable, easy and relatively cheap (or even free if you like even lower sound quality and enjoy the ads) access to loads of music and if you need it, and have a lot of devices, you can listen to it pretty much anywhere you are, and stuff like family subscription plans are helpful, in our house three people have Spotify and it’s handy to be on a family plan. Also I really like that you can discover a lot of other music which is very handy as well if you are picky and won’t fall in love with every other song playing on the radio. 😉 I hate it for the low sound quality, even though I understand that it’s not possible to be higher since millions of people are listening to music at the same time and Spotify doesn’t want to be sluggish. I hate it because, in practice, it only supports those artists and music labels who are already famous and popular. I mean, I’ve discovered a lot of great, barely known, niche artists from niche genres thanks to Spotify and I’m very happy about it, the list includes my last faza/music crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys and a lot of other great people, but from the moment you open Spotify and look through their browse tab, their own ready-made playlists, features like those regional filters for specific countries that they have or however they call them, you’ll be flooded by loads of mainstream music that you’d have easy access too otherwise as well and that you most likely already know either by name or have heard their songs, or both, or if yoou haven’t heard of them they’ll soon go viral anyway and every radio station will be playing them, or if that miraculously will not happen for this or that reason, they still make very easily digestible music and very much in line with what is currently most popular thanks to the media. And, okay, there is some good mainstream music out there, there are artists who are famous for a reason and are really talented, but it’s sad that artists who are lesser known, also those who do not want to go viral or whose music simply isn’t fit for that despite being really great and good quality, or who are independent and self-producing or something, and who could potentially make much more money on the music and be noticed by more people, are so little promoted by streamers and it’s all intentional and purposeful action, despite that with the possibilities that those streamers have, they could really transform the music industry, the way people listen to music, make people more conscious, more selective, and show them some good music, promote it so that those who don’t know much more beyond the charts and what has been popular throughout the last couple of years/decades can find something more that they would like but don’t know that they would like, because they don’t know it exists and where/how to look for it, and what they would actually be into. Of course if you are interested and determined and want to, you’ll find such underappreciated artists on Spotify and great music that they do not feature on their own playlists, but you really have to be interested yourself and most people just want to listen to something, are not interested in digging too much and have no time for that which is absolutely understandable, so they’d have to get it shoved in their faces to be able to notice that there is also other music and that it exists. It’s a shame that so many people just listen to what is forced into their ears by radio stations or other such and that those “trend setters” decide for them what they are supposed to like, instead of that people could actually choose what to listen to on their own, and decide on their own what is their favourite kind of music. It feels like brainwashing to me and makes me think that one can’t really be a self-aware person when they don’t know what music they truly like, but just takes what’s lying nearest to them. I don’t blame the individuals for that though because that’s how things have been for ages and we are used to listening to music this way. I also hate that those less popular artists aren’t paid enough as a result, I mean not as much as they would be paid if someone bought their album, and I feel it’s not fair whatsoever, but as my Mum rightly says the words justice and fair only exist in the dictionary. 😀 Not to mention that some independent artists are not on Spotify whatsoever despite making lots of great music, for various reasons.

The cons are quite heavy, and I guess there are more of them, but anyway, as I said, Spotify is my main way of listening to music despite that, and probably will be for a while yet, because it’s very accessible and easy, and sometimes the easy option is the only practically possible one. And I listen to a lot of music on Spotify these days, or mostly nights actually. Spotify is my main base for discovering new music and being up to date with my most favourite artists that I want to be up to date with, and music from Spotify serves me as a background noise when doing stuff on the computer during the day, unless I happen to be listening to the radio but I’ll write about that later. I also listen to music from YouTube sometimes but that’s not very often, only when there’s something I like that’s not on Spotify, usually something that I happened to discover years ago back when I was using Last.fm as my main source of discoveries and taste-shaping so to say.

As I said though, it really bothers me what Spotify is doing to the lesser known artists, for example those singing in extincting languages. My other way of listening to music is on my PlexTalk Linio Pocket. PlexTalk is a specialised device for the blind which is small, and thus portable, fitting into a pocket, as you can guess, and it can read books – audiobooks, texts – play podcasts, radio from Internet, play any audiofiles in most formats, so music as well, it can also work as a recorder and has a couple other features like a calendar, alarm, etc. It uses SD memory cards so all my actual music that I have for myself is on SD cards. If I like and respect an artist and their music particularly much, I’ll buy their album, or if I don’t like a whole album I’ll buy some single songs in a digital format. It also is very handy to have this kind of music collection because I take my PlexTalk everywhere with me so I can have my own, bought music there with me regardless of whether there is Internet connectioon or not, I can listen to my PlexTalk in my bed, in the car, etc. I can play the music from some other device if I don’t want to listen to it from PlexTalk’s small speaker or headphones but for example my computer speakers which have much better quality. And I know that I’ll always have this music and not just as long as the artist will be willing to cooperate with Spotify. Well except for things like if I lose or break a card or format it by accident, haha.

Also I do listen to the radio, but that’s rarely for the music. I was hugely into radio as a kid, I mean more like in theory, what it’s like to work in there, changes in specific radio stations over time, lots of such details, that was very interesting to me, and I still do find it interesting but not to such a geeky degree, and I listen much less to the radio right now. First of all I hardly listen to Polish radio stations now, if I do, it is because some programme really interests me. Or because it is playing in the background – in the kitchen, in the bathroom, even in the loo (we have a radio in the loo which turns on and off with the lights and it scares some people or at least surprises them very much when they visit for the first time and go to the loo), I like to switch it on if I’m alone somewhere if I don’t have my Plextalk with me there so that my sensory/silence anxiety is more manageable. – My school friend used to laugh at me that I am such a snob that I only listen to mainstream music and get a chance to catch up with what’s popular and form my opinion when I’m sitting on the toilet, lol, but that’s not the case. Well, not always. 😀 Otherwise, if I listen to the radio, it’s usually some public radio from another country, or in any case a radiostation where they talk a lot so it can boost my language skills. Like today I’m listening to Sveriges Radio p4 Stockholm all day. They do play a lot of music, very normal music, but I mostly just care about the language. Sometimes I like to make radio discoveries though from foreign radio stations. It was very hard for me, for example, to find Welsh language music on Spotify at the beginning of my Welsh language journey. I mean, there are playlists made by people which were helpful but when I wanted to go beyond that and see what’s more, I found it difficult, especially that Spotify’s algorithms picked up very late on my Welsh language mania and I couldn’t count on them that they would give me some further recommendations. BBC Radio Cymru was extremely helpful in that, as was Cymru FM, the latter plays almost exclusively music, with barely any talking ever in between, almost exclusively in Welsh (with some occasional, almost like accidental, Cornish or Breton songs) in a variety of genres but mostly pop, rock, folk and alternative/indie stuff, I’d say. Also I love learning about how different are music trends in different countries, no matter if I’m gonna like them or not, I like to see for example what Swedish songs are currently popular in Sweden, or even English ones that are either by Swedish artists or simply didn’t make their way to Poland to such a degree for some reason. I actually end up liking a lot of foreign pop or hits or stuff, lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Finnish pop in the radio stations. So I’m not such a big snob, after all. I myself don’t think I am at all, because seriously I do like a lot of “normal” stuff, but even Zofijka thinks I’m snobbish.

So, that’s about it, for me. How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi guys. 🙂

Here’s my question for you for today:

What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?

My answer:

I guess the best thing would be that I didn’t catch the stomach flu from my Dad, nor did anyone else so far. I’m sticking to my apple cider vinegar though. Other than that, since today I finally have my Spotify back! I had to call my IT specialist to have a look at it, and he was actually very surprised and said he’d never see such a thing, we tried various ways and workarounds to deal with it, and finally he tried creating another user account on my computer and installing Spotify there. Surprisingly, it worked out, so he moved the Spotify folder into my user catalogue and the shortcut to open the app on to the desktop, and this way it’s working now. He said he never had to install something in such a roundabout way. I’m relieved it’s working finally so I can have all my music back, although I’m sort of suspicious how it will act when there will be another update, whether it won’t be the same story from the beginning, since we didn’t find the exact cause why it couldn’t be installed the right way, I really really hope it won’t be like this ’cause then I really don’t have any idea what I could do.

I consider it both a good and a bad thing that finally this week I quit therapy with my last therapist. Recently I’d been feeling like there is something really wrong with our relationship, that we don’t get each other even in some fairly basic things, and that in a way I actually felt like it’s causing me more bad than good and felt more low and confused after each session than before I came to her. I know sometimes you just do feel that way after therapy since you process really hard stuff and it’s painful but we were nowhere near that stage and, as I said, I just didn’t feel any progress. Don’t know what I’d do now, honestly I feel pretty discouraged and wonder whether there’s actually a point in looking for another therapist and how long it is going to take me to find the one with whom I can really get along and achieve something, and I wonder whether it’s really so that therapy is what I necessarily need or maybe I should look for some alternatives only that I don’t really have an idea what it could be. But yeah in a way I am relieved that I finally did this and quit with this therapist, something was hanging in the air for weeks, and I could hear some alarms beeping in my brain already a few months ago, only that I preferred to just ignore them and carry on and didn’t want to believe something could be wrong, ’cause, why? Again? This time it has to be right. ANd our start was actually pretty good, apart from some small things that were kind of jarring, like that often times she seemed like she was actually expecting some specific kind of answer from me and if the thing I said was different, she would show me in one way or another that what I said is kind of wrong, even though it’s quite obvious that no one can know better some things about me or my life than me, it felt as if she wasn’t very flexible, so I didn’t even know how to react to such things, but, she’s a therapist, so I assumed she knew what she was doing, maybe she was right? Well now I don’t think so, and I also talked with my Mum before going to therapy this week, and my Mum of course didn’t suggest me to do anything, but she said she also had an impression that it didn’t really influence me that well as therapy apparently should ’cause she could see I always felt very down afterwards.

So I guess it’s a good thing that it’s over and now I have to somehow figure out what to do next.

How about you? 🙂

Grrrrr! I just hate such things happening! 😭 😞 😱 Ughhhh! :/

Hi guys.

I was just about to do the song of the day post for today but it looks like I won’t be able to do it. The song I planned to share with you is for some reason only available on Spotify, not Youtube or even SoundCloud or anywhere that I know of, and neither I have it in my personal collection so I can’t even simply give you the Dropbox link or anything. And as we are at that, I think it’s so very exclusive, because then people who don’t have Spotify can’t listen to the whole song unless they sign up, I am not sure if it really helps their marketing, ’cause to me it looks rather discouraging, but that’s another thing and not what I’m so concerned, frustrated and anxious about today. The reason is, my Spotify stopped working completely! ANd I just need to rant plus maybe I’ll be lucky and someone who might have any idea what’s up with it will stumble upon it and be so nice to give any hints. I think there was some update to it yesterday because when I opened it on my PC, it looked like it’s going to update, but then there was a message that the installer isn’t working or something like this, I can’t remember what exactly it said, anyway I had the option to try again or cancel the update. When I tried again, it was just the same and Spotify wasn’t able to update, so I cancelled it and it just opened in the older version that I had installed. But the same happened again when I ran the app later that day, and then today as well. So finally I decided I will reinstall it and maybe that will help. So I uninstalled it and downloaded the latest version, and tried to install it, but every time I open the installer, it just closes after a little while without installing Spotify or even without any information like that something is wrong, it just closes. I still have the installer to an older version, from the last time I installed Spotify on this laptop, so I tried to run it, and when I did it, and every time I try to do it, it looks as if the installation was in progress, progress bar is showing, then it looks like the installation is complete, and it suddenly closes, but the application isn’t actually installed.

I even got my Mum to look at it, thinking that maybe there is something my screen reader isn’t able to read, but she said it’s just that – you open it, and it closes, without installing.

I looked around the Internet if anyone has similar problems after the last update but I couldn’t find anything that seemed relevant. I even thought that maybe they stopped supporting Windows 7 and my laptop is still running on Windows 7, but when I looked at the list of systems Spotify supports win 7 was included plus it would be rather malicious of them to stop it at this point because I guess there are still many people using computers with win 7.

It drives me crazy! Well, any kind of tech issues drive me crazy, regardless whether I have any clue what to do about them or not, even though I am not that very techy, although my Dad thinks I am probably the most techy person in the world hahahaha. But it drives me particularly crazy! because I just need Spotify and I need it on my PC! You could think if I have my own huge collection of music it shouldn’t be that important, but it is, even just because I like to explore new music, and because I can’t have everything I like in my collection, and there are also other reasons for it.

I wonder what I can do with it now. If I had some constructive information about what’s wrong, maybe I could do something to eliminate the issue, but when it just closes… yeah, just frustrated. I hope it’s solvable and that I won’t be left without the desktop version.

Maybe I’ll get Olek to have a look at it after work, (Olek is the techiest person in the world in Mum’s opinion) but I am slightly apprehensive keeping in mind that the last time I had some computer issues – in August, when I had such a long so called hiatus from blogging for over a month – it was Olek who screwed it up even more, of course genuinely trying to help, but, you know… I’m not sure whether I want to be without the computer for another month just because Spotify is not working. Grrrrrrr my brain is turning upside down. Why do such relatively small things make me an anxious mess? Recently me and my Mum have been thinking a lot about my apparent autistic traits (that’s a thing for another post that I’ll perhaps write but now don’t feel perfectly comfortable with it yet), and now when I have a situation like this I can definitely see them, those that I don’t normally notice every day, like that in fact I do have some routines, which maybe aren’t so very very inflexible, but still i hate when something major interrupts them. I just hate changes, even relatively minor like this, but more or less important to me, although that’s no secret to me, I never liked changes, and just thinking about this, noticing these things in me I mean, makes me feel kinda depressed for some reason. I hate that even such little things can sometimes affect me so much, and I think that if my brain won’t slow down after a while, I will have to quiet it with my anti-anxiety med to stop overthinking this constantly, and I wouldn’t like to be forced to do this because… it would feel like I can’t even manage such small things on my own, without some bloody pills.

Anyways, if by some miracle anyone has an idea what could be the reason of this peculiar behaviour of my Spotify (other than it simply revenging itself and sulking at me) I’d be very grateful if you’d share them. I even tried to be diplomatic and talk to it in Swedish since it is Swedish, and I like talking to everything, but it is still not one bit more conciliatory. Rant over. Thanks a lot for reading, regardless of if you have any ideas or not, it always means a lot to me. 🙂 And sorry if it is slightly chaotic.