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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Deezer review: trying this music from the web thing

I love music. I don't have a preference, i get lost in it. There is so much good stuff around the world. And i love technology. Maybe i always loved it, but what it brung to me experiencing music made me love it even more and see its potential.

I resisted having a mobile phone in the beginning, mostly because i didn't wanted the obligation of being reachable at all times. I would have to be giving excuses for not picking up a call or not responding to texts, for not letting people know what i was doing. I didn't want to lose that power. Although we are kind of used to this problem nowadays, it still brings many discussions, so i guess you see what i mean.

I finally had to have a mobile phone, for work reasons. It was ok. But then i realised that i could bring my music with me in that same device that i had to carry everyday already. I was very interested in that. I have had walkmans, hauled it around with tons of cassete tapes. Recorded music from radio and made mixed tapes. I didn't like that so much, being the reason those walkmans weren't with me all the time.

I tried one mobile phone with a small memory card and wasn't totally satisfied. Then i fell in love with the Nokia N91 and its "huge" 4 gigabyte microHD. I bothered everyone until a friend brought me one from England. It was a hassle, very expensive and i couldn't be happier. I had lots of music, dedicated buttons and i could plug it in my car like a breeze.

After all that, and lots of phones later, i didn't like the idea of relying on the internet to listen to what i wanted. I fought hard to get my tunes, organize them and to buy a high storage device to take them with me everywhere. I lost many battles during this war, but things were going well. Until i lost my computer. No money to repair it, no way to make the responsible person pay for it, and an offer appeared.

I tried Spotify before, the free version. It said i had to pay to skip a song. Wait: i understand you have to make money, but i can't skip a song from your playlist that i don't like? Gone. Deleted. It didn't last one day.

So, after i had that little misfortune with my computer and i couldn't sync my music and playlists, i accepted 6 months of this Deezer app for free. I'm not saying that isn't worth it to pay for a service like this, but i wasn't in the mood to try one of them for one to three months based on what i saw, and being happy with how things were. Now i had a problem and six months to make up my mind. Or get another computer of my own.

I know that Deezer is not a very big player in this giant war that is happening with music over the internet. At first, i was gladly surprised at the availability of songs. Very few times i wasn't able to find what i wanted and many of them were comprised of niche stuff, sometimes the nichest.

That it the major advantage: "every song" at you disposal. The latest hits, old stuff, whatever. But the usability is seriously lacking. First of all, the computer app has less features than the website. How? Why? A website is supposed to be lighter, to load faster. An app exists to remove the weight from the internet connection. I get it that the whole idea revolves around the cloud, but we still have problems with bandwidth and things like that, that's why we don't yet have everything over the web, why we don't yet just have a screen and a modem.

The overall usability is ok on the mobile app, but it should be more complete on a computer. Even the website is a little confusing and every action takes a lot of effort. It makes you feel like you're still finding, downloading, transferring to the correct place and making all the final tweaks before you can really enjoy your music. I think that we should be able to make every adjustment, every task on the computer easily, to enjoy it on the go.

And it uses Flash. Why? Why? Yes, i prefer to use Safari, roast me. Now i have to have the memory eater Chrome opened to listen to music. And since the app is useless, i can't use my hardware keys to stop or skip a song.

Not to say that i hate everything in it, the song lyrics are a nice addition. It's not available for all of them, but that is probably because of another copyright bullshit still stuck in the olden days. The fact that users can make playlists and share them is another good feature. The other day i found a great playlist for the TV series Ballers, with The Rock, that saved me a lot of time.

All things considered i am not really happy with Deezer, mainly because of its user unfriendliness. The ability to listen to songs that i wouldn't have in my personal library is what attracts me most about this kind of service. That's the reason that might make me try other services like that in the future, but for now, i can't wait for when i can have my own computer back again, to do it the "old" way again.

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