Spotify, you had me, then you lost me

Well, I’ve had it. Spotify and I were getting along just fine up until today. Then I started getting this popup message on my phone:

Syncing Error
I have over 10GB of space free on my phone–plenty of room for more music, and I just want a decent selection of my favorite music to be able to listen to anywhere, offline. I swear I only have a few dozen albums download onto my phone–definitely nowhere near what I would consider excessive. After wiping Spotify completely from my phone in frustration, I noted there was around 11GB of music that freed up, so I assume that’s how much space it consumed. I had it set to download in high quality. I think that’s ridiculous though. They have all the copy protection in place, allowing you to download seemingly unlimited music locally, and you have to check-in with Spotify at least once every 30 days to make sure your account is still valid, and the music is in a proprietary format no other media player can use. The system works. So why limit the number of downloads??? Nothing says anything at all about a limit on the amount of music you can download. You just get the error when you hit the barrier. There is no way I’m going to start juggling artists and albums to work with this limitation. I had enough of an issue just trying to get “Local Files” to let me put my personal music (the albums I couldn’t find in Spotify) into the Spotify app on my phone–which I still can’t see to find any time I try to search for a song or artist in my local files.

Well, at least I found out before my 30-day free trial was up, so it won’t end up costing me anything. I just wonder how many other users ended up paying for months or years, THEN ran into this wall! After googling the error message, I now see that the apparent limit is 3,333 songs per device or 10,000 songs total on your account. Agh.

I am not back to my old standby, which I never get rid of and always seem to end up coming back to: Subsonic – my personal music server, and DSub, a great Android client for Subsonic. No more limits on my downloads, except for free space, and all my music is mp3 and unprotected, so I can even access it with other apps that support MP3s. Once side benefit to this is that my favorite Alarm Clock (Alarm Clock Xtreme – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alarmclock.xtreme&hl=en) now works properly again, allowing me to choose any artist or album to randomly wake up to each morning–very slowly ascending in volume, so I can turn it off before it gets too loud and wakes up the rest of the family!

Bye bye Spotify!

Never Forget

A couple years ago, around 9/11, I was reading various posts all over the Internet about memories of that day – like where they were, what they saw, people’s reactions, etc., and one post from Quora stood out, so I saved it to my Evernote. (Unfortunately I didn’t grab any credits at the time, so I have no idea who actually posted it.) I thought I’d post that here, for my annual 9/11 post, just to remind everyone, once again, to never forget. If you’re easily disturbed, you might want to skip reading on. It’s short, but can be a bit disturbing. My apologies in advance. Here goes:

Did people jump from the WTC towers on 9/11 because their rooms were on fire and they were about to be burned alive?

It was too hot.

If you had been listening to the harrowing telephone messages left by the people who were trapped, with no way out, who made one last phone call to say goodbye — and no one answered — you would have heard them explain what they were about to do.

Some held hands with colleagues. Some wrapped their arms around people they worked with, and they stepped together into the empty air. Some went alone. No one understood the fire. No one understood why no one had come to save them.

Their last words were unforgettable. Their voices. Their deep regret. How calm some almost seemed. One young guy left a message for his brother: I’m sorry we fought; I love you.

One left a message for his mother. I love you, mom. I’m sorry.

I don’t think anyone understood what was happening — a plane, an explosion, why they were left there, and could not be saved.

Then for weeks, the recordings were played on the radio during New York City’s news coverage.

I had a friend who thought this public use of intimate, personal farewell messages was obscene. I disagreed. The tragedy of losing thousands of people so quickly in a single morning could be impersonally arms length, but for those voices.

If desk phones weren’t working, they used cellphones. The towers were built originally with helicopter landings. Many had expected, of course, to be lifted off the roof. There was no other way to get out. Slowly, they began to realize it would soon be over. They started to jump. “I have to go,” said one, and hung up.

The towers hadn’t fallen yet. No one knew that was going to happen. This is why so many people died.

At the base, office workers from buildings on Broadway and Liberty and Chase Manhattan Plaza walked over and stood at the bottom and watched as people dropped in front of them.

911_jumperI had a colleague named Tom whose young cousin worked in one tower. He prayed she would appear, safe. He walked over and stood next to a man who counted out loud each body as it hit the pavement. 26. 27. 28. “It was so weird.” She was never found.

For months, photos of the “Missing” were taped to walls by the people who loved them, all around Penn Station, on telephone poles, on the sides of buildings, lamp posts, pillars. Every surface of New York was covered with these color xeroxes. No one took them down.

Why did they jump?

There, on the roof, they waited as long as they could, until it was unbearably hot, and they simply could not stay there anymore. They apologized for dying, said goodbye, and went.

 

Connor

Sunday we spent the day at Beth & Tom’s 15th Annual Fish Fry.  It was great, tons of food, family and friends!  Matt, Anna, Hailey, and Connor came as well.  Connor, now fast approaching his terrible twos, was in fine form, just constantly moving about and walking non-stop.  He kept picking up a small blue kiddie chair and moving it around to various places in Beth & Tom’s backyard, unable to find a suitable spot, or just trying to show off his amazing strength at being able to lift a chair and walk around with it

But even without the chair, he just wanted to walk.  At one point, he waited at the backyard gate and I opened it to walk out, so I let him out and followed him closely.  We walked out to the front yard, then down the sidewalk.  I talked as he kept walking, telling him when a bump was coming, asking where we were going… He never answered me, but he was listening, I could tell.  He would look and hesitate when I announced hazards, and smoothly worked around them, and just kept going.

Occasionally he would walk astray and head down a driveway, so I would grab him and turn him, like correcting a robot, and he’d just keep going in the new direction, with no hesitation.  It was pretty amusing.  When we got to the corner, he tried to keep going into the street, but I stopped him and again redirected him back where we came from, talking to him and asking him where we’re going.  No response again, he just resumed walking contently in the new direction, back over the same old hazards in the opposite direction.

It reminded me of Forrest Gump…how he just had to walk and walk, with no rhyme or reason, he just had to keep going and going.  How far would little Connor go before he finally gave up? Forrest just stopped one day, in the middle of walking, after reaching the edges of each coast more than once.  At that time, in the movie, Forrest had probably close to 100 close followers who were walking with him, blindly going everywhere he was without question, as if disciples.  He had walked for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, then he just stopped and turned around.  One of his followers then says “Quiet! Quiet! He’s gonna say something!”.  Forrest then says “I’m pretty tired… I think I’ll go home now.”

We’ll all follow Connor and see where he goes.  He’s got his whole life ahead of him, and he’s on the move!  Go Connor, Go!  I bet he slept pretty good Sunday night too!