There’s just something about the way Skype looks on OSX that really bugs me. I can’t tell what it is, but the UI just feels really intrusive. Then again, it’s probably not supposed to be kept visible like I do with my contact list in Adium, which has a brilliant transparent and borderless option.
I admit. When I was first told about Spotify, I dismissed it as my experience with most web based players had been pretty poor. Most of the time I couldn’t find what I really wanted to listen to and when I finally did the quality was too poor to be enjoyable.
Now I’ve been using Spotify now for a few days and I’m tempted to actually go as far as to say I’m impressed. The only thing stopping me from giving it a full 10 out of 10 is the fact that it doesn’t have anything by two of my favourite bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. I already have those albums as mp3s, so no big loss. The big plus is I’ve already listened to a number of tracks and albums legally that I would have otherwise pirated. I’ve paid the £9.99 for premium access, which gives me ad-free listening (they are annoying) and a higher bit-rate music. To be able to listen to that much music for that much a month, is extremely worth it. For the price of a single album, I can now browse and try out as many different artists and albums as I like.
Another nice feature is the radio. I’ve spent some time just listening to random music and come across some really good stuff I would have otherwise never heard. My only gripe though is the lack of a “World Music” or “Classical” option. Sometimes when working I find that foreign music is pleasant to listen to while not being distracting. I raised an issue in Spotify’s GetSatisfaction page, so who knows, perhaps the feature will turn up someday soon. If you haven’t checked out Spotify already, I highly recommend you do so. Oh, but if you’re not in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France or Spain, sorry, you’ll just have to find another service. For you Americans, consider this minor payback for not giving us Hulu.
It’s been a day with Safari 4 and I’ve yet to find a reason to switch back to Firefox. With it’s new developer tools, my discovery of FoxMarks for Safari and the Delicious Library bookmarklet I’m pretty much where I was with Firefox. The only thing I am currently missing is adblocking. I’m not sure if PitHelmet currently supports Safari 4, but Glimmer Blocker looks really good. It’s interesting that it works on the network level rather then as a browser plugin.