As an indoor cycling instructor, you already know that music plays an important part in creating an exceptionally motivating class.
But sometimes, searching for new music and developing playlists can be time consuming and costly. Since iTunes came out with its social network, Ping in 2010, I’ve had great success finding music and sharing songs and playlists there with other instructors. In fact, I may have been happy to stay with Ping forever. Then I heard a rumor that with its new upgrade this fall, iTunes will be dropping Ping. I can neither confirm nor deny that rumor, but it did scare me enough into looking at other music options.
That’s when my search began for a new music-sharing site that would offer me the ease of finding new music, putting my playlists together and sharing them with other instructors. I knew about other social music sites such as MeeMix, , Maestro.fm, and Last.fm, and I had dabbled in Spotify before, even recreating some of my iTunes playlists and publishing them there. I had never really explored Spotify enough to see all that it had to offer though.
With the possibility of Ping not being available to me any more, I knew that it was time to jump in and give Spotify another try. This was around the same time that John contacted me to write some blog posts here at ICI/ PRO. I mentioned to him that I was dabbling in Spotify, and he said it would ‘change the way I use music in my indoor cycling classes.’ As music ‘junkie’ and someone that had become pretty adept at creating playlists, sharing them and using them in my classes, I was sure that he was exaggerating.
As the next few weeks went by, I continued to explore Spotify, upgraded to ‘premium’ membership status and gained more confidence using it. I also installed the Spotify app on my new iPhone. In that short time, I have almost completely stopped purchasing new music in iTunes and cancelled my $12.99/month eMusic account. I’ve also begun to stream my playlists in my indoor cycling classes through my phone. Amazing, really, if you stop to think about it. I’m still working out the kinks in this area, but overall I’d say it’s going quite well.
To say that this was a challenge for me would be an understatement, because I consider myself just a bit technologically challenged, and I will admit that I found Spotify difficult to navigate at first. I am not someone that picks things like this up easily. I’m guessing that a lot of you reading this are in the same boat. I’m still working on learning how to use Spotify to it’s fullest potential. While I know that I am only using a small part of what’s available to me as a premium member, I’ve already decided that John was right. It already has started to change the way I’m using music in my classes.
Let me begin by telling you a few of the things that I already love about Spotify:
- It’s inexpensive. I know what you’re thinking. How is $9.99 a month for a premium membership inexpensive? Here’s how: You don’t have to purchase music anymore. You have thousands of songs available for you to use. Between my monthly eMusic payment and my iTunes purchases, I was spending well over the $9.99 that I am paying per month for Spotify.
- It’s simple to create playlists. This part of the process is actually very similar to iTunes, only much simpler. You can browse new music, see what others are listening to and create your own playlists in less time than if you had to download them and drag them into your playlists. In just a few clicks, you have everything you need at your fingertips.
- You can share your playlists: Kind of like sharing playlists on iTunes only you can actually sync an entire playlist to your device and use it in your own cycling class. Sure, on iTunes you could purchase entire playlists easily, but it would cost you anywhere from fifteen to twenty dollars or more. With Spotify, you have access to thousands of songs and playlists and you can use as many as you’d like.
While I’ve learned a lot about Spotify in the few short weeks that I’ve been exploring it, I still have so many questions about it. I’m quite certain that I have not even scratched the surface of all that it has to offer me as a cycling instructor.
For example, here are few things that I’ve
struggled with continued to struggle with:
- I’m finding it hard to find other people to ‘follow’. One way to find people is to log in through your Facebook account and follow your Facebook friends that are on Spotify, but I am specifically looking for other instructors and people with good musical taste. No offense to my Facebook friends, but most of them don’t fit into either category. It’s not as simple as ‘searching’ for people by name.
- I’m still learning the whole ‘online’/’offline’ thing. Do I want to stream my music via the Internet, or take it ‘offline’, which is a feature of the premium membership? One lesson I learned: when you are ‘online’ and your iPhone rings during class, your music will pause until you dismiss the call, unless you switch your phone to ‘airplane’ mode.
My goal until my next post is work out some of these kinks and share more of my Spotify experience with you. I would love it if I didn’t have to take this journey into the great unknow alone, so In the meantime, I will put this challenge out to those of you not yet using Spotify premium:
At the very least, try the free membership to see how you like it. If you ‘re ready to make the jump, I promise you that the premium membership will be worth every penny. I would be more than happy to entertain any questions that you may have about starting up with Spotify. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find it for you.
Until then, keep the music flowing!
Here are a few links that you may find helpful:
Originally posted 2012-09-11 15:32:23.