Had Ditched Spotify, Was With Xbox Music, Now I’m Back With Spotify Again But Still Using And Loving Windows 8 Ecosystem

Spotifys huvudkontor på Humlegårdsgatan

Spotifys huvudkontor på Humlegårdsgatan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A month after I quitted Spotify, now I’m back with it for my music listening pleasure.  A month ago, I ditched Spotify for Microsoft’s Xbox Music as I bought into the idea of a more coherent Windows 8 platform ecosystem.  Unfortunately, Xbox Music was a frustrated experience.  Fortunately, I like the Windows 8 ecosystem still, but my love affair with Windows 8 ecosystem just have to do without the Xbox Music experience.

Xbox Music experience was bad for me, because it was hard to have the playlist on my HTC 8X Windows 8 phone to sync correctly with the one on Windows 8 PC and creating playlist was a pain through Xbox Music app.  Furthermore, Xbox Music suddenly refused to play any music in my playlists even though I had one more day of free trial subscription before the whole free trial subscription period would end accordingly.  I would have stuck with Xbox Music by subscribing to its monthly fee payment structure, but the last straw was about how Microsoft did not train their customer support departments well on how to deal with Xbox Music errors, whether the Xbox Music errors found on the smartphone or the Windows 8 PC.  I experienced this first hand as customer supports would transfer me back and forth between the Windows 8 and Xbox customer support departments, but in the end my question and problem would not be resolved.

I thought I would have gone for weeks on end without being able to listen to awesome music on my smartphone since now I’m no longer using iPhone 5.  Instead of iPhone 5, I’m using HTC 8X Windows 8 phone.  I like HTC 8X Windows 8 phone a lot, because it got Windows 8 operating system.  I think Windows 8 operating system is way cooler than the stuffs that make up Android and iPhone operating systems.  Nonetheless, without great music experience, it was painful for me.  Luckily, Spotify came to the rescue.  Spotify app, a beta version nonetheless, is now available in Windows 8 phone app store.  Like a thirsty person that was in a desert, I was too eager to download Spotify app on HTC 8X and paid up roughly around $10 per month for premium plan with Spotify.

The great feeling of being able to listen to whatever music I want and not having to be frustrated by the creation and syncing of playlists is a wonderful thing.  Now, I’m listening to Spotify again whenever I’m in my car, at home, and elsewhere.

I think Microsoft needs to have dedicated teams within their Xbox Music department to make sure Xbox Music does well.  If I’m Microsoft, I would want to imagine that Xbox Music — a core service among core services within Microsoft complex — is a company of itself, just like Spotify, and so the teams that build Xbox Music can be dedicated enough to see things from the ground up, to make sure that Xbox Music will be just as easy and a pleasure to use as Spotify.  After all, Xbox Music does carry the substantial amount of music that form the core of the whole Xbox Music service.  Unfortunately, content fulfilling isn’t enough for some people like me, because a clunky Xbox Music user interface in terms of creating and syncing playlists and weird Xbox Music errors do push people like me away from the service.  Furthermore, bad customer supports on Xbox Music do not help to alleviate but only enhance the Xbox Music problems.

In conclusion, I think Xbox Music needs to be better, and I think Microsoft has the resource to dedicate such a task.  Windows 8 ecosystem is great, but I think people will appreciate more if Xbox Music is a part of Windows 8 ecosystem greatness.  Thanks to Spotify, I like to stick to HTC 8X smartphone a lot longer.  There is one downside with Spotify at the moment is that it doesn’t work well with Windows 8 PC.  Why?  I experience that Spotify refuse to quit or to have its process to be terminated once you launch it on Windows 8 PC.  Furthermore, Spotify tends to crash too frequently on Windows 8 PC.  Perhaps, some people have better luck with Spotify on Windows 8 PC, but I don’t.  Some people’s answer to Spotify problematic issues on Windows 8 PC by launching Spotify on a Windows 7 virtual machine (i.e., installing Windows 7 on a virtual machine that runs on Windows 8 PC).

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What About Lumia 920? (My Breakaway from iOS Ecosystem)

Usually, people would rather trade in their whatever brand of smartphone for an iPhone 5, but I did the opposite.  I ran away from iPhone 5 by gave it away to a family member, bought Lumia 920 instead.  What’s the big deal you ask?  Probably not to you, but it’s to me.  I like to think that I had successfully completed a challenge, and the challenge was for me to break away from iOS ecosystem.  Basically, once you’re tied into any digital ecosystem, whether that be iOS ecosystem, it would be super hard to break away from it.  Unless many digital ecosystems begin to have the same amount of apps and features, breaking away from one digital ecosystem for another is like to throw away all the money you had spent in one ecosystem for all that time.  For me, it wasn’t a big deal and I did not break any sweat.  How come?  Well, watch the video right after the break and you will know.  Within the video right after the break, I also make a brief comparison between iPhone 5 and Lumia 920.  So, enjoy!!!

Lightroom 4 Photo Fun – Graffiti, Street Photos (November 3, 2012)

Saw some really nice graffiti on two walls that have always been lining alongside a small road, and so I decided to park my car nearby so I could get out and take them pictures.  I did it with iPhone 5 camera, because it was the only tool I had at the time.  I wish I did bring a better camera than the iPhone 5 one, because the images would turn up nicer and fill with even more details.  Anyhow, as always I used Lightroom 4 to see what sort of artistic touch which I might add to the photos, and the results are in the EndlessBit gallery.  You can click on the sneak peek image right after the break to visit the rest of the graffiti off the walls photos.  Enjoy!!!

Lightroom 4 Photo Fun – Geese?

How embarrassing!  I can’t tell the difference between a goose or a duck or any bird which is similar to a duck or a goose.  I think there are many species that have similar features as a goose or a duck.  Nonetheless, my best bet that the animals I captured in the photos right after the break are geese and not ducks.  If I’m wrong, face-palm myself.  Anyhow, I took the photos with iPhone 5 camera and retouched them with Lightroom 4.  I hope you like them.  Enjoy!!!

Lightroom 4 Photo Fun – Apple Store

Went to Apple Store and got a replacement for iPhone 5.  The one that Apple sent to me the first time around was Wi-Fi glitchy (i.e., disconnected and super slow) and camera glitchy (i.e., purple halo/flare glitch).  The replacement fixed the Wi-Fi connectivity issue, but the camera glitch had not yet resolved.  Anyhow, while I was at the Apple Store for the iPhone 5 replacement, I took two snapshots of Apple Store with the replaced iPhone 5.  Afterward, I used Lightroom 4 to stylishly glitch up the snapshots.  Check out the results right after the break.

Lightroom 4 Photo Fun – Around The House

Not knowing where to go for capturing some awesome pictures, I resorted to things that laid around the house.  Hopefully, these things aren’t too boring for you all.  Check them out in the forms of iPhone 5 and Lightroom 4 retouched photos right after the break.