It was a beautiful Las Vegas Spring morning and there I was standing in my driveway making all the last-minute preparations for my first-ever garage sale. I had set out a variety of items from our house ranging from old lamps to worn out picture frames, from toys my kids have out-grown, to a pile of clothes that were no longer in style, all hoping to make a few dollars before donating the remaining items to charity.
As I saw the first car approaching, I became very hopeful to make a good sale. Perhaps they would want to buy all our old glass flower vases, the box of hardback books that I never read, or even the old recliner that sat strategically in the center of the driveway. But, apparently, none of those “quality’” items appealed to them as I saw them walk right over to a large box that I had sitting under one of the tables, yet to be unpacked. For this was the box that held the entire CD collection that I have accumulated from the time that CD’s became a thing and replaced cassette tapes.
“How much for the CD’s,” they asked in a gruff voice.
I responded with, “for each one?”
To which they responded, “no, for the whole box?”
I looked down at my entire collection of CD’s, approximately about 250-300 of them, wanting to set a good price. I mean, how do you set a price on a collection that contained the wonderful sounds of the Steve Miller Band (my first CD), to my whole Beatles collection, to Frank Sinatra, Guns-N-Roses, Bon Jovi (yeah we all had that), to an endless number of movie soundtracks, musicals, and even my first Rich Mullins, Michael W. Smith, and DC Talk CD’s. So much of my teen and young adult years all enclosed in the shape of those 4 ¾ inch disks, now for sale.
“I’ll give you $50 for the whole box,” he said.
To which I responded, “sure.”
And, in a moment, my whole entire CD collection, the collection that sat on my shelf and grew for the past 20 years, was gone. Was I crazy? What was I doing? Those were CD’s that I had paid anywhere from $8-$20 for throughout the past 20 years. Those were the CD’s that I had received for birthday and Christmas presents. Those were the CD’s that had shaped and formed my appreciation for music and now they were all gone!
The truth of the situation, however, is that for the past several years, all those CD’s just sat on my shelf and collected dust. It had actually been quite some time that I had taken one of those CD’s off the shelf, which were actually stored in my closet, and put it in a CD player. In fact, I don’t even think that I own a CD player anymore.
Now, I would like to make it clear that just because my CD’s are gone, I have not stopped listening to music. Music is a big part of my life and even the life of my family. Not a day goes by that we do not listen to music. Whether it is while getting ready for the day or while driving to work, while making dinner or even while going to bed at night, we always have music playing, most often times taking the place of the constant sound of the TV. So, what is the thing that has taken the place of my entire CD collection that I sold for the same price of a meal for a family of four at a casual restaurant? Spotify.
Spotify is a music streaming service that is available in most of the America’s, but also in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and parts of Asia. It is a ‘streaming’ service meaning that users pay a monthly subscription fee to listen to music on most modern devices including Windows, MacOS, and Linux computers, but also on iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and Windows phones. Spotify is also available on PlayStation and Xbox One home gaming consoles.
Users on Spotify can browse through, or search for, music based on any parameters such as artist, song, genre, or album. This is the beauty of music streaming services, and actually one of the reasons that my collection of CD’s was no longer necessary. I quickly found out that, through Spotify, I could look up and listen to a song, or an entire album, from my favorite worship bands or quickly change to a Disney Princess album as my kids may request all by just a few types on the computer or phone, as opposed to removing a CD from a player, replacing it in its case, finding the new one, inserting it, and pressing play.
With Spotify, we, as a family, can listen to any genre of music, at any time, from any of our devices.
In addition, Spotify users can create ‘playlists’ of their favorite songs or browse a number of user-created playlists. Want to listen to those 80 rock songs you used to listen to in High School? Do you need background music for a dinner party you are having at your house? Do you need a variety of Christmas music to play at a function? Or would you like something soft to listen to as you are getting home from work? Well, for any situation, in any genre or era of music, there is probably a playlist that has been created. You can browse music and playlist by genres and moods, listen to the latest chart toppers, or even listen to the newest music that was just released. Spotify will also automatically create playlists for you based on what you typically listen to or search for on a frequent basis.
To begin using Spotify, you can simply download the app (if using it on your phone) or go to Spotify.com if you are downloading it on a desktop or laptop computer. Follow the instructions for setup, create an account, and start listening to music. While there is a monthly subscription rate, you may wish to first sign up for a ‘free’ account to test it out (the free account does include commercials.) Many of the settings can be changed once your account is established and you can make yourself as ‘public’ or ‘private’ as you feel necessary. If your account is ‘public’ people can find your playlists and see the music you are listening to.
Spotify is also just one, of many, music streaming services as you may be familiar with Apple Music, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Google Play Music, or even Amazon Prime Music, all doing essentially the same thing, providing users with unlimited music, on all devices, at any time of the day. So, while it may have broken my heart a little to sell my entire CD collection, I have come to enjoy the beauty of streaming music. Perhaps, as you start to explore the world of Spotify, that CD collection sitting on your shelf taking up room and collecting dust will soon be sold in your next garage sale. Happy listening!
If you are looking for some great Spotify playlists for your teens check these out:
- “Turn Up Ministry” playlist created by Life Teen staff member Jay Martin
- “LT Summer Camp – Suggested Worship” playlist created by Life Teen staff member Jay Martin
- “Life Teen Worship Music” playlist created by Life Teen YM
- “All is Well – A Catholic Breakup Playlist” created by lifeteeninc