Back To Pandora One and iTunes Match

It’s 2015, or close to the end of it and I’ve decided to go back to my old setup of listening to music via Pandora One and iTunes Match. At the end of the day I’m about cost cutting and simplicity and this set up checks off all those points.

It’s funny, I had this set up back in 2011, and then after a year I decided to try something different. Years later and many experimentations with different set ups and trial periods I decided to go back to old reliable. Pandora has been around a long time. They have an easy premise, customized radio stations are pretty much set it and forget it; unless you want to thumbs up or thumbs down some songs for more customization to your liking. You really don’t have to think to much about it. Just let it play and go about the day.

One of the biggest knocks I had with Pandora and still do somewhat, is that there song selection is more limited than the other music services out there. But I’ve come to a realization. I don’t ever have a chance to listen to all 12,000+ songs in my music library so what does it matter if I have only 2 million songs to listen to vs. 15 million or whatever Spotify has nowadays. If I’m bopping my head to the Pandora station then that point is moot.

I still like what Pandora stands for. All about the Music Genome project. I like idea of how they pick songs based on my interests. It works. It’s affordable. When I get service with T-mobile that allows Pandora to have unlimited streaming w/o taxing my data plan it will really rock my world.


With Pandora One Expiring Thinking About Slacker Radio Plus Once Again

 So about a year ago I made the decision to choose iTunes Match and Pandora One for my music needs. By December 20th, my Pandora One subscription will expire and I’ve decided to use Slacker Radio Plus this time around. As much as I enjoyed Pandora One, I missed listening to radio stations offline a lot more than I thought I would. Also I’ve noticed that I in fact cannot tell the difference between 190 kbps (Pandora One sound quality) or 128 kbps (Slacker Radio). Since I cannot tell the difference between those sound qualities, Slacker’s music library and ability to cache their stations for offline listening seems more appealing to me than Pandora this time around. Also, unlike Pandora, when I’m listening to a genre of music, Slacker’s music stays consistent within that genre. That wasn’t always the case with Pandora. Sometimes with Pandora there would songs that would be completely out of left field of the genre that I would be listening to.

So Pandora One is out and Slacker Radio Plus is now in. And what about iTunes Match? Oh that’s still in. You can’t beat all your songs backed up for only $24.99 a year.

At Odds With My Technological Geeky Impulsive Self

I know it was only a few posts ago that I mentioned I decided to stick with iTunes Match which implies that I’ll also be sticking with my iPhone for another year. But of course that would be too easy. I keep forgetting my inquisitiveness and my enthusiasm for everything tech, not to mention my compulsion to want to try out new and different things.

So for no apparent reason, except because I’m me, I decided to check out my upgrade options on AT&T when I stumbled upon a gem. I have an opportunity to snag a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S II for only $9.99! Of course the tech geek in me was jumping up and down for glee and I had such an impulse to just hit the buy button, but my cooler head prevailed and I decided to talk it over with my wife first.

Of course this wasn’t her first time enduring my hot and cold tech-impulsive whimsies and a migraine began to surface for her as soon as I laid out this great deal. Immediately Claudia began to shoot down this idea. “What’s wrong with your current phone?” she asked. Though I know she is an Apple loyalist and this stance of hers was entirely expected, she wasn’t without a point. The truth of the matter is that my iPhone 4 is perfectly fine. It does what it does and there is nothing technically wrong with it. The only real issue I have with it, if anything, is its lack of Swype and Google app integration.

Yes, I’m the metaphorical dog with two bones. I got an iPhone for its aesthetics, uniformity and it’s customer-friendly user interface (not to mention that I have a MacBook Pro so obviously an iPhone makes sense). But of course I lament the closed-ecosystem of Apple and I crave the merits and potential of the Android phone and OS.

In this little debate I brought up my points (The phone is only $10.00. I can sell my iPhone on Gazelle and get about $162.00 for it . Minus the cost of a case and the $17.00 upgrade fee I’m up $100.00). I think I expressed myself quite convincingly and even believed myself, about what a great idea this was. Claudia then brought up how I’m never satisfied with technology and that I’ll be complaining about this new phone and how it isn’t working and so on. This argument would work if she hadn’t mention that “I’m never satisfied”. This means that I’m already griping about my iPhone as it is, so not much would change except the hardware.

She tried to use other examples of how she has had to deal with people lamenting how they never should have switched from an iPhone to an Android phone and eventually go back to their original Apple device. Of course she reluctantly admits that these examples won’t necessarily apply to me since I’m relatively computer savvy and these complainers didn’t know the home button from the on/off button.

Realizing how set I seemed with my decision to switch platforms Claudia used her Ace and Joker up her sleeves. First the Ace. She looked at me imploringly and then looked away and remained silent. I, thinking victory was within my grasp but not without some repercussions, emphatically asked if she was mad at me. She stayed with her back facing me, sighed and said, “No I’m not mad, just disappointed”. Talk about passive aggressive and just plain dirty! Of course, I started laughing hysterically. How dare she tried to use an old “Mother knows best” move. She, after a while, laughed along because she knew that was a low blow. But then Claudia played the Joker. The old wild card that might just work and then again it may be an Old Hail Mary with no result.

Claudia sobered up and let me know that she will be fine with my decision, as long as I’m completely sure of it, I won’t have any regrets and I won’t do anything crazy or get into a Tasmanian devil frenzy I sometimes get when things aren’t working like they’re suppose to. She also questioned that I look up the warranty and see that the phone be adequately covered. That way, if I end up with a lemon I can replace it with a working phone. I agreed and was ready to celebrate my victory. But doubt started to linger like an old familiar scent and it was just getting stronger the more I thought about my decision.

Is she right? Am I really too impulsive and hasty with my tech purchases? It’s true I have had a few situations where I was immediately dissatisfied with something and I quickly returned those items. Yes those items happen to be non-Apple products and were replaced with Apple products, but does that mean this pattern will repeat itself with the Samsung Galaxy S II? That Joker really played a number on me.

I began to research warranties and saw that I can get a really good one by SquareTrade for $124. So if you do the math (17+9.99+124+34.99-162=?) I end up owing $24 or so at the end of all this. I don’t make any money out of this anymore, but it’s still cheaper than if I were to buy a new case for my current iPhone (something I was planning to do when I saw the Andy Warhol cases in a catalogue. Wow, I really am impulsive, aren’t I?).

This is my current impasse. Should I stay or should I go? Do I buy the refurbished Android device or just let things be and run out the final year of my contract with my iPhone 4? Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.