We have an 18-month-old who has discovered dancing and loves her some reggae. Up until recently, we would play music in our living room via iTunes on my MacBook pro, into an Arcam rDAC, and through my NAD 326BEE integrated amplifier.
We recently renovated our place and my NAD moved upstairs to my studio and our home theater has taken temporary asylum into our living room. The system consists of a Marantz SR6009 receiver, B&W 683s speakers up front with the HTM62 center and the ASW610 taking care of the low-end duties. For the most part, it sounds pretty decent with music.
I don’t subscribe to any streaming services as I have a fairly large iTunes library and a large collection of vinyl. I also discover a lot of my music on Soundcloud and Twitter of all places. Additionally, we are spoiled in Toronto with some great university radio stations that play a diverse mix of music that we enjoy.
However, last Sunday my wife’s friend sent her a playlist he put together on Spotify, so we decided to try something different. From her phone, my wife clicked the link he sent and the playlist started. We fired up her Macbook air, hooked it up to the Marantz, clicked the Spotify link and hit play.
I checked the cables and everything seemed fine. Still nothing. So I launched her iTunes and played a song. Nothing. Ah, so it’s not Spotify! As an aside, I’ll admit to being less than smitten with the Marantz SR6009, for movies and TV it sounds great, with music it’s average. As for Bluetooth, wifi, and Airplay: it stinks. If I’m even able to connect to the receiver via any of those formats (most times I’m not able to), there are regular audio drop-outs which get really annoying or the connection altogether fails, so I opt for a wired connection. In any case, I pulled up the setup menu and after about 20 minutes I realized that the input I used had to be assigned to play anything.
We now had sound, at least with iTunes. I hit stop and clicked the Spotify link. Guess what? Nothing, again. The link pulled up nothing, no playlist and the Spotify pages looked noticeably empty. I thought that maybe it was a software issue and my wife doesn’t regularly update her software so I forwarded the Spotify link to my email and fired up my MacBook pro which I militantly keep updated.
I clicked the link and was taken to Spotify’s sign in page. My wife signed in via Facebook as none of us have a Spotify account, but since I’d rather not use Facebook to sign in I created an account and hit enter. No music still, so I clicked the link to try it again.
At this point, I should mention we’re going on about an hour of me trying to play a simple playlist. My pancakes were cold which annoyed me and I was more than a little frustrated. We gave up trying to load the playlist. Since I had already signed up for an account, I decided to search Spotify for some of my favorite music instead and came up empty. I finally tried something more mainstream and found the Luke Cage soundtrack and hit play. My little girl started dancing and we were all good. Happy Sunday!
We just added to our Sunday morning ritual!
From my brief experience with Spotify, as frustrated as I was setting it up, I would say it is a great service for people who want to stream favorite music without accessing their music library be it vinyl or digital. I just hope you have an easier time setting it up than I did!