Spotify vs Google “All Access”

Last week, I posted about pitting spotify (premium) against the newly announced “Google All Access”, and today I am going to post an update.

To be fair, I have only been using it for 4 or so days now, but the one thing that drove me nuts about using my collection in Play was that it would skip, stutter and freeze periodically.  And by periodically, I mean at least once an hour. I figured that Google would have addressed that by now, with their play to go large and challenge Spotify.

But the skips, pauses, stutters, and even long freezes (up to a minute at a time) are still plaguing the service.  I have submitted feedback, but naturally no response (I expect none, as Google is notorious for their lack of direct support).

I am not sure how much this is caused by it running in a tab on my Chrome browser, versus Spotify’s dedicated application. This is all on my PC (HP Elitebook 8640p, core i5, with 16 G ram, and my work network). But Spotify either does a better job of routing packets to me, or queuing up a buffer to avoid the follies of internet packet delivery.

It is a shame, as I was grooving on the All Access radio stations. Their matching algorithms aren’t as good as Pandora, but they aren’t bad. And having my 18K files in their storage means that even the artists that don’t do streaming will be mixed in with my radio selections. (I could do that with Spotify, but I would need to dedicate 120G of disk locally for it, a big negative).

So, I am back to Spotify, and enjoying their service, and performance.  I will continue to try the Google service, on my Nexus 7. Maybe with an Android native app it will be better?

What drives me nuts: Windows installers putting shortcuts on the desktop

Nothing screams the 1990’s like every time you install a piece of software that it puts an icon with a shortcut on your desktop. I know that most software asks you if you want one placed on the desktop, and I ALWAYS uncheck that box. But all too often, the software installs it anyway, or it doesn’t ask and just drops one there.

I know this is a minor rant, and I also know people (more than one) who manages their workflow via piles of files on their desktop, and for them, it makes perfect sense to put shortcuts on their desktop (although, for me it is always faster to tap the Windows key and type the name of the program I want to load). Fine, ask them first, and then drop the shortcut.

But many times, the program doesn’t ask, and just places it. Or, it asks, you can unselect it, and it will STILL drop it on the desktop.

This is one reason why I prefer the Mac. Beyond the fact that installing applications is usually no more complicated than copying it into the “Applications” folder, there isn’t a paradigm of putting shortcuts on the desktop to foster quick launching.

Needless to say, I have over 30 shortcut icons on my desktop, none that I put there intentionally, and most of them placed even though I selected to not have one copied there on install.  About 2x a year, I go and delete all the useless desktop icons.