April 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Stop Complaining: Playmysong and Spotify Gave Us All Free Jukeboxes

Comedian Louis CK made a great point that’s worth revisiting (transcript), even if you’ve seen it before:  that “everything is amazing and nobody is happy.” The disruptive funnyman was referring to the way we complain about the world we live in, even as we enjoy unprecedented abilities and conveniences thanks to the preposterous degree of technological advancement over the past few decades.

People love to complain about flying, for example, and they are people who are sitting in chairs in the sky checking their Facebooks on WiFi. In the sky — and complaining about it, when just a few generations ago, traveling that same distance took years or occasionally lives.

This brings us to the point: Playmysong launched a Spotify app this morning (Spotify link) that can turn any computer into a jukebox containing most of the music in the world, for free. You and all of your friends can control it with your smartphones at parties, in offices, dorms, or wherever else. We just gained another amazing thing to complain about!

Please consider that just a few years ago, a jukebox capable of anything remotely similar to that would have been accessible only to the very richest people on the planet — and even then, their jukeboxes would contain a limited selection of music that would start going out of date right away. And the remote controls, which would have to be custom-made for tens of thousands of dollars, would have been super clunky and lame, probably without touchscreens, let alone the ability to let you complain about them on Facebook.

As of today, even an earnest Luddite who thoroughly enjoys being terrible at technology can set up a Playmysong/Spotify jukebox in minutes that anyone with a smartphone can control, all using equipment that most people reading this already have, meaning that for all intents and purposes, this magic is completely free — and not only that, but Spotify pays artists, labels, songwriters, and publishers for the music you play (some people say not enough, but that’s a different story).

We’re not overstating this. It really is enough for even people who claim they hate technology to do this.

First, the person in charge of the computer turns on Spotify, and installs the Playmysong Spotify app there. This takes about a minute. Then, they simply drag a playlist into the app’s “scroller” section, or choose one of the preconfigured stations (Rock, Pop, etc.). The music kicks in immediately. Then, it’s time to define your location on the map, so that phones in the area will be able to find your jukebox. Do you know the name of the town or city where you are right now? Great — you’re almost done.

Here’s what your new free wireless jukebox with access to customized playlists or most of the music in the world looks like in Spotify:

playmysong spotify app

And here’s what remote controlling that jukebox looks like (with slight variations) in the free iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone app:


That’s all there is to it. Your free jukebox with access to everything is now online, and anyone in the area with the Playmysong app (free on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone) can remote control your Spotify playlist by requesting a song from it to add to the queue — or, you can let them choose from anything on Spotify. They can be nearby, or not, depending on the settings in the Playmysong Spotify app:

If you’re one of the people making requests, you only get to add one song to the queue, unless you sign in to the app, which is most easily done with Facebook, granting Playmysong access to some of your personal information, like your hometown. That takes about a minute too. So please, join us in our attempt to stop complaining for five seconds and acknowledge that we live in an amazing world where we can do magical things that would have cost a fortune while being worse, just a few years ago.

  • http://twitter.com/aworks aworks

    Giving this a try.

    But I don’t understand yet whether this is intended for people near me (Menlo Park!) or Internet people who care about the obscure American classical music I mostly care about. Or to phrase it differently, nearby real life people will hate what I play but my Internet friends…

    And when I “Tell people about my jukebox”, it just pops up a Facebook wall posting tool. Uh, my cool music buddies are on twitter. My mother-in-law, bless her heart, is not in the target audience for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rami.korhonen Rami Korhonen

    Hi Aworks! Thanks for your comment. The main use case is in an event (party, wedding etc.) where the “host” device is used to play music that everyone at the event can hear. Event guests can then use their own smartphones to request songs from the jukebox. As jukebox host can choose the playlist that’s used, there is no risk of having people playing “wrong music” and host can also set a limit that only nearby people can request songs. In some cases people also use Playmysong as their personal wireless remote control for music in their homes and sometimes people also use our jukebox “remotely” to play songs for friends who are elsewhere just to say a “musical hi!” to them.