Tag Archives: spotify

Spotify Mini. Because I Just Want To See The Muzaks

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I was looking at a lot of UI design on Dribbble today, and it occured to me that UI design must be one of the hardest categories of graphic design to be skilled in, because it truly is where information design and aesthetic are forced to bridge — nay — zip-line the gap between them. If someone had screwed up on the design of every damn interface of the Macbook I’m using right now, no doubt it would destroy a lot of the intrinsically exciting and slick mythos that Apple has created around it’s products. As it is, I understand that Jobs disliked the menu bar and it’s increased “clutter”. I don’t personally mind it. But in the greater scheme of Apple’s love of minimalism, his attitude makes sense. Even still, I must contend with the stupid leather skin covered iCal — but only because I’m too lazy to theme it with a skin someone else made that looks better and less chintzy.

To digress, I use Spotify a lot — it’s sort of the motor fuel to my designing sessions, and probably a larger distracted than Facebook at times. I’ve gone through quite a few online music streaming applications and it’s the one I love best so far, though it is synced up with my first love, Last.FM. I remember when I first used the Last.FM app and liking how light and unobtrusive it was. If you wanted it big, you could hit up the website. But for some desktop action, all you needed was the medium sized application, which was more than hi-def enough to display album art, biographies and such. And it looked great. Still does (last I checked anyway :P…) Spotify’s desktop app looks nice, but I’ve always felt it’s a bit bulky and unnecessarily shows you almost absolutely eeeverything. And it’s so biiig. Yeah, I can minimize it, but then all the windows get squished together and it looks weird. And also, the mini album cover window just doesn’t do it for me. I want to see my favorite album art BIG. And also, I don’t always need to know who’s updating their playlists, even if I do enjoy stalking my friends musical choices. Sometimes, I just don’t give a shit. With this project, I wanted to trim the fat off of the app.

With the Last.FM app and Spotify’s smaller imbedable widgets in mind, I cobbled together something that I think I personally would like to see coming out of Spotify’s design lab. It’s pretty simple–not a drastic re-design at all. A medium sized Spotify player featuring a retractible main window that highlights the important stuff — who you’re listening to; album art, navigation, playlists, and a retractible sidebar that also gives you easy access to the juicy extras — your friends & followers and the streaming timeline of info. Essentially, I like things that have lots of retractible windows. 😛

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Note the Kimbra album that you should be listening to…*ahem*

I’m not a UI designer, so I won’t pretend that this is perfect at all. It’s goofy and quick (2 1/2 hours is quick, right?) and mainly for fun. But I do think something along it’s line would be a nice addition to Spotify’s range of applications. Get on it Spotify! If you don’t, though, I’ll love you anyway. 😀

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The Big Damn Playlist – 2012 In Music

Another year comes to a close, and so with it begins a new year, God willing, of cool new band discovery. Therefore, another giant list that two people will read, but I don’t mind because I like compiling lists of stuff. This is as organized as I will ever get. 😀

This year was kind of weird in music. I found myself listening to a lot more varied indie-type music, allowing myself to like more things I was recommended–usually I’m sort of picky about what I’m recc’d–and listening to a lot more love-themed songs, which I typically don’t really listen to all that much. They’ve been usually kind of weird, whiny love songs, but relationshippy nonetheless. As always, the beat is where I live. It’s got have beat or be eerie or be creepy or be graceful or I’m not into it. This was also a very dubsteppy year. Mostly just to be annoying and goofy but done right, it’s not half bad.

Where I can find it, there is a link to videos for most of the songs. Also there is the usual link to the Spotify playlist featuring all listed songs plus extras that I may have mentioned.. Note that a few may be greyed out because they’re not on Spotify, just my computer.

Happy listening and happy new year!

THE YEAR IN A SONG

Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Absolutely had to start this list off with this tune. 2012 was a veritable roller coaster of moods, and this song really encapsulates the peak of my emotions during the time when things felt like they were actually under control. Karen O, whose vocals I had first heard fairly unremarkably on the Santigold EP “GO!”, intrigued me after listening to her gritty cover of Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song” for the equally gritty and seedy (and less cool, IMO) David Fincher cover of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. A quick skim through Karen’s discography both as a solo act and with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs brought my attention, and concurrent obsession with this track. Ridiculously self-aware in it’s dancy-ness, “Zero” manages to remain an ecstatic, electric ear bomb that invokes glitter, “girl power” and a vague sense of impending violence. The buzzingly triumphant guitar riff and Karen’s energetic, almost valiant chant/song evoked, in my mind, a sort of abstract and more finite triumph over the situation that I’d been trapped in a year ago. 2012 found me reforming myself in some ways mentally and in some ways physically. I got a taste of working for real in my chosen career with a brier marketing internship. I got my first real out-of-college job. I learned to drive. I played dodgeball. I started wearing Converse knockoffs, slacks and blouses. I got my Associates degree. As instructed by Karen, I got my leather on. It’s a great song to end a year with and open into a hopefully badass new one.

On to the sweet sweet muzaks! Continue reading

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