Life Before Spotify: 5 Ways We Accessed Music
There are millions of people today who probably won’t remember a time without Spotify. Launched in 2008, the streaming service was revolutionary in the way it allowed music lovers to access virtually any song they wanted, with the added benefits of the awesome ‘Related Artists’ ‘Charts’ and ‘New Releases’ sections. In short: Spotify is the music streaming service we always wanted.
However, it wasn’t always about Spotify back in the day and we had to find other ways to get our music fix. These are five of those ways we used before Spotify entered the fray.
Taped music off the radio
This was a game of chance in some ways. We would sit patiently next to our cassette players with a blank tape at the ready, then when the DJ would announce that our favorite song (at the time) was about to come on, we’d jam the tape into the slot and hit record. Over time, we’d have built up a pretty solid mixtape full of awesome jams, with the likes of Nirvana, Oasis, Radiohead and Coolio all likely to be on there. Sure, the tapes might wear out over time from constant listens, but this was a fun way to hear great music whenever we wanted.
Watched music videos on MTV
In a similar way to the cassette tape, we could also record popular music videos, although these were slightly harder to take with us on-the-go! Most of us watch music videos on YouTube in 2017, but MTV used to be the best resource if you wanted to see what your favorite artists actually looked like!
Bough from music shops
Although vinyl is actually quite popular now, it used to be all about CDs. Browsing through the aisles of your beloved music shop, picking up the album you were waiting for all year, then being dismayed at the price and putting it back was a common sight. Those days, you really had to choose wisely about which album you bought, as it could be several weeks before you had the money for another one!
Burned CDs off a friend
CD burners were a big deal. “You mean, I can just take your disk and make a copy of it?” This involved a lot of CD swapping back and forth, as you’d strive to make sure you had every album under the sun – bought or copied. Regular trips to the supermarket to pick up a case of blank CDs was a common activity, but you’d just have to make sure you wrote the correct name on the disk! Imagine you’re in the mood to hear In Flames’ ‘Colony’ but you get Sepultura’s ‘Against’ instead. Bad start to the day.
Tried other online music services
Although SoundCloud was launched at roughly the same time as Spotify, it managed to get a decent following quickly enough. Spotify had a waiting list to get the software at first, so we used SoundCloud for a while to fill the void, as well as some others you’ll probably remember. The iTunes store was (and still is) a good place to buy music, although it can be quite expensive if we’re honest. Signing up to Spotify is a piece of cake nowadays, but waiting on that list back in 2008 felt like an eternity, not that we knew at the time just how awesome it would be. Here’s to another nine years of Spotify.