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Thing 20: Wrap Up

14 Oct

There’s no doubt that the way we are listening to and discovering music is continuing to change. This week’s “thing” was all about that and the introductory post offered lots of tips and suggestions for applications and services to explore. There was a little bit of discussion on twitter as the anz23mobilethings community spread their musical wings.

I was excited to take up the challenge of exploring some of the services mentioned in the introductory post. I have recently started a Spotify account and have to say I find it the most user-friendly of the suggestions for customising music playlists. I did set up a Grooveshark account in the interests of comparison but found it a bit fiddly. Perhaps that’s a personal preference. If you are looking to really discover new music then Grooveshark and Last.Fm are probably your best options; whereas, if like me you are a little bit set in your musical ways but just want to find favourite songs (for free) then perhaps you will take to Spotify. What both Spotify and Grooveshark have in common is that they allow users to try (before they might choose to buy…or not!). I also set up a Last.Fm account but by then I had decided that really I only needed one of these services not three! So while I entered some favourite artists and began a library I wasn’t filled with motivation to continue developing my profile.

I did create a new Spotify playlist to share based around the word “blue”. See what you think. I have shared it via a tweet with the #anz23mthings.

I am already a Soundcloud user and find it a great way to share user-generated content. I like it so much I actually signed up recently to Pro Account. It’s simple to upload audio and share it various ways, including as you will see here, embedded into a blog post.

This is a recording of  piece of music from the National Library of Australia’s catalogue of sheet music that I accessed via their Forte app. So in this way, we can start to see the value of Soundcloud for bringing audio cultural heritage and memories to life.

This week there were also some articles about the use of these music sharing services. There’s an interesting piece from The Conversation that discusses the social aspect of Spotify in particular. During the week there was also a musician’s point of view presented by Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

My own personal view of the value of these services is that yes, they are excellent ways to share and discover new music. However, they also raise issues about the state of the music industry and the place of artists and musicians in that changing landscape. This particular mobile thing, like most of the others, will no doubt continue to develop making it vital for us to take responsibility to understand the capacities they offer users.

Wrap-up post by Wendy Davis @wendyldavis – thanks, Abigail and Kate.

Thing 20: Mobile Music

8 Oct

Radio is quickly becoming a thing of the past as free music streaming services are now common place offering free music whenever you want it, wherever you want it. No longer do you have to ring up a person cities away from you, to beg them to play your favourite song, while you sit at home suffering through the latest pop rubbish until it gets played.

The two most popular websites to do this at are Spotify and Grooveshark.  Spotify can link directly to your Facebook account showing your friends what you have just been listening to (so make sure to turn the permissions off when jamming out to your guilty pleasures) and can be used directly though the website, or downloaded onto your computer. Grooveshark is similar except the Facebook logon option is replaced by Google or Twitter. Both sites offer the same features, you can listen to any song you desire and create playlists of your favourite songs meaning you don’t have to buy the music, but every time you want to listen it, it has to be streamed again. is slightly different. For those of you who have iTunes, you may be familiar with the genius sidebar. is the mobile version of this. Linkable to your iTunes, iPod, Spotify accounts and much more it analyses your favourite music and helps recommended to you artists and songs you may like. Expanding your music horizons and giving you the options to buy them on iTunes or add them to your Spotify playlists.


Photo Courtesy of Invercargill City Libraries and Archives


Spotify is a free web based and app based music streaming service. It’s also very social, giving you the ability to see what your friends are listening to and allowing you to share what you are listening to with your friends.

Last.fmis an online music recommendation site that has apps that can be downloaded on to your devices.

Groovesharkis a free web based music streaming service that offers many features including the ability to create your own playlists.

Sound Cloud is an online community where you can upload your own original content and share it with online communities and friends.


Create a Spotify account and then create a playlist. Share these with our #anz23mthings community.

Use to discover and listen to some music recommendations. Were they accurate?

Have a listen to my playlist Music based on books

Have a dabble on soundcloud. Use the online recording capability to create some audio content to share, or upload a masterpiece you have already created.

What does your Libraries music CD collection look like at the moment? How could these services affect the borrowing rates of these in the future?

Does your library offer a music download or streaming service for clients? How do you promote it?

How can libraries use programs like sound cloud to promote local talent and patron generated content?

Thanks to Mylee Joseph at 23 mobile Things for helping give me some inspiration for this post.

Bonnie Mager (@bonniemagernz)

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