Disclosure – Spotify provided Blog Of Dad with a Premium Spotify subscription for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with Spotify Premium.
First things first. Please excuse the paraphrase in the title, of The Offspring’s lyrics from Time to Relax. Of course, that in its self is a misquote of William Congreve, who coined the far more elegant phrase:
Music has charms to soothe the savage breast
Breast, beast or toddler, the point remains. Music has the capacity to soothe. The right music at the right time can make all the difference between the calm and the raging storm. A playlist of soft, slow lullabies can coax a stubborn toddler to a state of relaxation, even eventual sleep. A playlist of happy, upbeat nursery rhymes can entertain an awake toddler for precious tens-of-minutes at a time.
Yes, music is important, and never has it been so important for our little family as it will be during the ten hours on a plane between Sydney and Tokyo.
Enter Spotify Premium.
The music streaming services of Spotify have been well used in our house for many years. After all, Spotify is a class act – all of my favourite music available in one spot, to listen to on demand and in whatever way I please. The trade-off? An advertisement every now and then, and the need for a constant internet connection. It seems pretty fair to me.
However great the standard Spotify service has been, we needed something more for our Japan adventures. This is because of two main reasons: 1 – We need to be able to play music without an internet connection, 2 – Hannah dislikes ads.
Offline Play – Spotify Premium
One of the greatest assets of a Spotify Premium account is the ability to play music offline. It means that we don’t have to rely on stable internet connections to provide Hannah with a constant source of her favourite tunes at any time throughout the trip.
We simply make a playlist before we go and download it onto one of our phones or the tablet. Downloading is ridiculously easy, just make the playlist, then flick the Download button and wait for the process to complete. Easy!
I plan to make at least four playlists before we go. The two vital ones – music for Hannah to listen to while awake and music to help her sleep. On top of that, I’m curating a list of my absolute favourite songs. Emma is doing the same (because we deserve some luxury too!).
One thing to remember is that downloaded tunes take up storage space on your device. For that reason I think the download function of Spotify Premium is most desirable during travel, when internet access can be patchy, or downright unavailable.
The good news is that if your phone or tablet has expandable storage, a micro sd card can provide you with more than enough space for all your playlists. I picked up a 64gb micro SD card for under $30 (AUD), so it’s not expensive to gain that extra space.
No Advertisements – Spotify Premium
I really don’t have too much against advertising. As long as it isn’t too obtrusive, I can handle the fact that I have access to free music or shows or content, in exchange for a few seconds of my time. It’s a model that has worked successfully on television for years.
One of the things that I have truly loved about my standard Spotify account over the years has been the access to the vast catalogue of music, due to these ads. I have been able to listen to whatever I want, whenever I want. I have rediscovered old favourites and found new tunes – neither of which I would have done without the ad-supported account (Liam Gallagher still makes music – who knew?).
Having said that, there is one person in our family who DOES NOT like the ads – Hannah. She sees the interruption to her listening pleasure as a personal affront. When her regular soundtrack is cut through by an unfamiliar voice spruiking a product she has never heard of (that is most products, she’s 18 months old after all), she throws her hands up and makes a sound that could easily be mistaken for “what gives?”
Hannah doesn’t understand advertisements. She doesn’t care for the mutually beneficial arrangement between consumer and content provider. It’s been that way since she was mere weeks old. I still have distinct memories of singing my way through the entire Presidents of The United States of America first album, with her in my arms. Every few songs we were interrupted by the most annoying of ads (one that relentlessly declared that prices are down, for any Australians playing along at home). This made Hannah mad. Every time. Fortunately, Back Porch would then come on and I could lull her back to calmness with my excellent singing…
If we have managed with advertisements to this point, why is ad-free listening so important now?
Picture a toddler, on a plane, happily bopping along to the tunes on her headphones. Picture a loud complaint from said toddler, every five minutes when an ad comes on. I’m sure those in the seats surrounding ours will be extremely pleased that we have Spotify Premium for this trip.
I will admit that since we have had Spotify Premium for little over a week, I’ve quickly grown accustomed to the smooth, add-free transition from one song to the next. While the ads never really bothered me before, I don’t know that I would be willing to go back. I have been spoilt and I love it!
High Quality Streaming – Spotify Premium
Hannah is highly unlikely to appreciate this part of Spotify Premium at all. But I do.
Premium sounds great over my living room and computer room speakers. When I tried it over Hannah’s Puro Sound Labs headphones, I fell in love. If it wasn’t so critical for Hannah’s enjoyment of the long flight, I would be tempted to claim her headphones as my own. (who am I kidding, there’s no way she would let me get away with that!)
The standard version of Spotify is perfectly acceptable, easy to use and thoroughly enjoyable. But, once one has been spoilt by the higher quality sound of Premium, one may find it hard to go back.
Now I need your help…
Tell me what songs need to be on my playlists (Hannah’s or mine). I’ve found loads of great tracks so far, but there are always plenty of gems hidden away in the depths of Spotify’s vast catalogues. What songs would you include on your essential travel playlists?