about bliss

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

perfect playlists: songza

I minored in music (and German) in college.

I played the violin.

I haven't played seriously in years.

I've always loved music, with my tastes leaning toward singer-songwriter, indie-ish, with a touch of folk, bluegrass, classical, opera, top 40, college radio, and country. Throw in some classic rock (when did Journey become classic rock? Really?), an occasional opera, and dance tunes...okay, I like many genres.

And I listen to music all throughout my work day, when I'm not teaching or in a meeting. I've used Pandora, and subscribe to Spotify. Thanks to Spotify, I don't have to unpack the (many) boxes of CD's still in the basement after our last move.

In class, a student mentioned Songza, another internet streaming service. Songza's niche: playlists curated by experts. A few weeks ago I experimented with the site, and have been since listening (obsessively, constantly). Songza allows listeners to browse by activity (cooking dinner, getting lucky, and shopping at a vintage store, to name a few); mood (angsty, lush, nocturnal); genre; decades; culture; or something called "Record Store Clerk." The playlists have descriptive names; my favorites include "Harvest Moon," "Literate Indie," "Americana Ladies," and "Farm to Table."

I appreciate how songs "fit" together within a playlist, and appreciate the obscure bands and songs alongside more familiar tunes. Sometimes Pandora's artist-based stations leave me wishing for more variety or fewer popular songs. And I love Spotify, but I don't always make time to curate my own playlists. Songza's visual ads don't disrupt the music, a definite bonus compared to Pandora (for free subscriptions).

Songza allows me to browse the musical buffet and sample various playlists and genres on a whim—delicious food for my ears and soul.

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