Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So, I Caved and Subscribed to Music Unlimited

For the last few weeks, a fairly tantalizing offer has been sitting in the windows of the Playstation Store - a rather steep discount for Sony's Music Unlimited service.  When I say steep, I mean steep, in that a year usually costs $60, yet under the sale, a year is going for $12.  Twelve dollars.  Without sounding like a shill, that is a dollar a month for music that I would otherwise likely be too lazy to look up and listen to by other means, as well as being music that I can theoretically 'keep' on my Vita for the next year thanks to the Offline Mode, but I'll get to that in a moment.  As you know, I am a sort of person who often talks himself into spending money on 'value' specifically because lookit dat value and it has backfired in the past, but I don't exactly see that happening here.  At least, not from the very limited exposure I've received today since buying it before the store updated.  (Dunno if it's still available, actually, but I was indeed worried about missing out on it from hm-hawing about.)

I am a man who enjoys his music, I think I have well established that.  What's more is that I believe I have established myself as a man who likes what he likes in music, but certainly isn't averse to looking into things that others may find....questionable at best.  In a sense, just having a whole bunch of music that I haven't particularly listened to in any way at my finger tips seems like the perfect thing for me, or at least, that's what I've thought.  I've just been too lazy, really, to look into anything of the sort, but this was the urging that I needed for that it seems as, even now, I'm listening to the album from The Lonely Island that I haven't gotten around to buying yet simply because I came across an Akon song in one of the Top Lists.  While that's not -exactly- the progression they expect to happen, it did and helped prove the worth of the selection for the month, I suppose, since I am certainly getting more than $1 of enjoyment.

Still, the thing you have to wonder about with a Music streaming service is precisely what music is there to be streamed, since, as is the case with all these sorts of things, there will inevitably be something that you want that is unavailable.  As with Netflix all of one search in, I already hit a blank expanse of disappointment, but this is at least a -little- understandable.  I get that the service probably isn't going to jump on offering K-Pop* music and I don't like it, but I understand.  In all actuality, there is a -little- bit, though, as there's an album of Girls' Generation, as well as an album of like eight versions of "The Boys" which is a little much I think, and I saw a few other names, but the selection for them is barely there, so my intentions of using this as a K-Pop machine have gone up in smoke.  Sure, there's feasibly an entire year for them to partner with some studios and bring some music, but I'm just really doubting that's going to be a thing that happens.  It's a shame, but again, I at least understand this.

In terms of the rest of the music, I haven't sought deep below the surface, but there is at least an alarming amount of perceived content here, so I'm sure I'll find it rather difficult to truly be disappointed by the lack of something integral to me.  In fact, in the last ten minutes I have switched to the Rock & Metal Top 100 and have heard Black Sabbath, Journey and quite a few other bands that make me happy inside.  The few things that are 'obscure' that I know of, I checked and found albums for them as well, so I'm really not sure what to think in terms of holes.  I guess it's a sort of situation where you don't know until you start looking and wreck the whole house of cards, but I haven't done that quite yet and don't really intend to.  I'm much more enticed to simply enjoy what's offered as I further try to figure out the finer touches of the system.  It has only been a day, after all.

I wouldn't say that I'm wrestling with understanding how the whole thing works, but I will say that I'm not quite used to these things, so I am a little confused as to how I can do some things.  Like, you would think as a music thing that only streams music, it should be wholly possible to just back out of it to the LiveArea for it to continue playing music as the Music app does.  But that only works if you're in Offline Mode, I think - there were little hints and tips coming up and I kind of glossed over a lot of them which is proving to be not my finest move.  Still, that -is- a rather lovely thing that Music Unlimited offers - any song you listen to can be added to a Playlist that you can set to be "Offline" which basically means you can listen to the songs in that Playlist anytime.  Riding on a bus?  You can listen to it.  Stuck in some place with no wi-fi signal?  You can listen to it.  Your internet shit the bed because you have a goddamn awful ISP that you hate with a passion that burns in such a way that the heavens themselves shrink in abject terror?  You can listen to these songs.  More importantly, you're just doing other shit on your Vita?  Yeah.  Those songs.  You can listen to them.

I imagine there is also a way that you can listen to music that is actively being streamed maybe, but it's not so much a concern as you can just pre-load a playlist with things that you want to listen to and then...well, listen to those songs while you do whatever it is that would otherwise keep you from being inside the actual Music Unlimited app.  Something to note is that, despite saying "Music", there are other things that are offered on audio CDs, such as Comedy routines (Stand-up acts, I mean, live ones generally) from a few well-known folks such as the late George Carlin, Brian Regan, Chris Rock, (the also late) Mitch Hedberg and etc. etc.  That was a pleasant surprise to say the least and will likely continue to justify the cost of entry for quite a while.  Which, for what it's worth, I believe I've found my $12 worth here, so if you're interested in a music streaming service and want to attempt something like this, I'd certainly recommend it.  Hopefully I am not jinxing myself on it, but it's not really given me problems so far and has, in fact, given me enjoyment instead!

*yes, the first thing I looked for was something K-Pop.

shut up, Haplo

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