Use Spotify to take the Stress out of the Song Selection Process

| October 27, 2011 | 2 Comments

How much time and money have you wasted digging through piles of CDs, hunting down copyright-questionable tracks on the Internet or buying individual tracks only to have them end up in the discard pile? In fact, you’ve probably resigned yourself to this reality when hunting down the ideal soundtrack for your guards.

Well, waste no more!  Spotify, a service which has been available Internationally for several years, recently launched in the US.  Spotify ( is a nifty little application/service for listening to many of your favorite songs, it also has handy features for finding that perfect song. Best of all, it’s free, legal and easy-to-use.

Spotify allows you to listen to thousands of full-length, on-demand tracks for free. It also supports public and collaborative playlists.  These features come in handy for sharing song ideas and spurring discussions among your selection committees.

With a public playlist you are able to create a list of tracks available to any of your Facebook friends who use Spotify.  (*Make sure to read “A Note on Privacy” section below) Public playlists are viewable by all your friends but cannot be edited by anyone but you. This might not be ideal for collaboration but comes in handy for creating “set” playlists (example: Warmup Tracks, Stretching Tracks, Cool-down tracks).

Creating a Public Playlist:

1.  Click New Playlist

2.  Give it a name.  “Warmup Songs” sounds good!

3.  Right-click the playlist and make sure publish is checked.

(By default all playlists you make are public – if you want to keep it private just uncheck “publish” on this screen)

4. Admire your awesome tech-savvy self in the mirror.  You did it!

Collaborative playlists are similar to public playlists with two important exceptions: 1) collaborative playlists are only viewable by people with the secret link and 2) any of your collaborators can add/remove/reorder tracks on the collaborative playlist.

Have an idea?  Great – put it on the “Winter Guard Ideas” playlist so your team can review it.  (Important note:  public playlists can be changed into collaborative playlists but they may not be collaborative and public at the same time!)

Creating a Collaborative Playlist:

1.  Click New Playlist

2.  Give it a name.  “Warmup Songs” sounds good!

3.  Right-click the playlist and make sure collaborative playlist is checked.

4.  Right-click the playlist again and click copy HTTP link.

5.  Paste the URL into email,or Facebook and send it to your collaborative partners.

6.  Marvel at your epic skills from the future!

Adding Songs to a Playlist:

1.   Search for great tunes
2.   Drag the track to your desired play list
3.   Drop the track onto your playlist of choice
(Then just double-click your playlist to play all the songs)

A Note on Privacy:  

All this collaboration and public playlist madness is great, but you may want to take a moment to review the privacy settings on Spotify as well.   By default all playlists you create are automatically public.  So if you want to create “I Love Kenny G!” or “My 1983 Breakup Songs”, make sure you uncheck the public option.

Another tidbit to consider is all tracks you play on Spotify are automatically shared to all your Facebook friends.  Every. Single. Track.  There’s potential for embarrassment and unintended sharing. For example, If suddenly everyone on your guard staff is listening to the same track over and over, it might tip-off students, parents, and other guards what song you’ve got in mind before you’re ready to announce it.

To prevent this, click edit -> then preferences in Spotify [preferences is under the Spotify drop-down menu on a MAC]. Adjust your privacy settings however you like.

I recommend:

Hopefully this helps take the frustration out of the song selection process giving you a handy tool for publishing set playlists for your guard.

If you like to share what you’re listening to most of the time but only want to limit what’s posted to facebook during the time when you’re searching for guard music you can also quickly check the “private listening” option without changing your overall settings – hiding just what you are listening to for that particular listening session.  On the PC it’s under file -> private session, on MAC this is under the spotify menu.

Below are some links to check out if you still have questions or post your questions in the comments and we will get back to you!  Good luck using Spotify!

Helpful Links:
What is Spotify?
Spotify Subscription Details (Free, $4.99/month and $9.99/month)
Spotify Social – Collaborative and Public Playlists
Sign up for Spotify

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Category: Design, Latest News, Music, Professional Development, Professional Development

About the Author (Author Profile)

Shane Talbot has been an avid fan of the “art” called Colorguard for nearly 20 years. He first picked up Colorguard in High School and took that passion forward and marched with the Casper Troopers in 1994 and 1995 seasons. He began teaching and coaching guard in 1995. After a teaching hiatus he has recently returned to the scene, volunteering his time on the Colorguard staff of the 2011 / 2012 Broad Run High School.

Comments (2)

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  1. Adrien says:

    I know how to make certain playlists non-public but what about making certain songs or playlists not show in Facebook? I want only a few playlists to show on Facebook if this is possible. So my question is can I hide the songs from a specific playlist? or do I need to not forget to press the private session all the time? If there’s no other way I may reconsider spotify because of limitations like these…

  2. Destiny says:

    I live in Crawfordsville, IN and I am wanting to start my own color guard team. Any advice on how to do it? Anything helps. Thanks.

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