United Economy Plus, Seat Reclining, Cloud Storage, Spotify vs. Google Play Music

San Diego vs KC

Steelers were robbed. You can’t say that without admitting that they were a terrible playoff team this season, but still: robbed.

  • I flew back to Chicago a few weeks ago in what was nominally a United Economy Plus seat, but it was exactly the same dimensions as a regular seat. According to the flight attendant, a lot of the older United planes aren’t refitted with the better legroom, rendering that Economy Plus seat just a regular old Economy seat with different labeling on united.com. I felt completely ripped off by a free membership perk.
  • Speaking of that, I don’t know if the general flying population has a high rate of seat reclination or if I just have some kind of magnetic talent that attracts seat recliners directly in front of me. On that last trip, I was reclined into on the way out to the O.C. and I was reclined into on the way back to Chicago. Reclining your seat is never OK. I don’t know why airlines even provide this feature, which is minimally beneficial to the recliner and maximally annoying to the reclinee. I’ll sometimes ask people to sit up if my knees are really getting crushed, but that feels dickish because reclining seats are a feature and not a bug. Get me out of this dilemma, airlines.
  • I’m in the process of moving the entirety of my digital files onto Google cloud storage so I can quit buying high-powered and high-cost home computers once and for all. This process is slow, only because even a rather small amount of files can take a long time to upload. But yeah, it’s nothing but tablets and smartphones once I’m done with this project, because the 90% of my digital life that’s already on web-based applications means I only open a laptop for the office life anymore.
  • Moving all these files onto Google gave me a chance to cheat on my beloved Spotify with Google Play Music. 20,000 songs can go up there for free, and I have but a measley 3,700, so uploading my MP3 collection was easy.*

    *(That’s not counting the iTunes DRM files that I’m still kicking myself for buying years ago when I briefly owned an iPod. (Its memory died completely one month after the warranty expired.) Apple’s hatred of data proliferation will always be my prime beef with the company. Google lets you export your entire Gmail and Calender archive multiple times in any given day! Apple needs to quit trying to be AOL circa 2003.)

    I’d give Play Music credit just as a file repository, but I also gave the Google All Access pass a try for free for a month. It’s $9.99 per month, the same as Spotify, and roughly the same idea: add any song in the entire Google licensed collection to your own library, download it for offline play if you want, make playlists, create radio stations based on your tracks, and do all that other good stuff you can do in this golden age of music consumption. Google’s interface is cleaner than Spotify’s and matches up with the interfaces from Google+, Google Now and the like, so you got the consistency thing. I’m into that.

    HOWEVER, after trying it for a month, I’m sticking with Google Play Music as a cloud repository but using Spotify’s subscription service. For one, I’m tied in to Spotify, and all the material I’ve read says that transferring playlists is a pain in the ass. That’s a critique of Spotify more than it is of Google, but the Google critique comes into play because those playlists wouldn’t really transfer anyway: Spotify has a larger license than Google at this point. So all those Metallica tracks on my “Destroy All Workouts” playlist aren’t going anywhere when they’re not even available on Google Play. Today I was playing some Fugazi tracks and ran into the same problem: no Fugazi available other than what I uploaded myself. When the features are otherwise the same, this catalog limit is the current deciding factor. Spotify wins this round.

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