Is Spotify Running truly a Game Changer?

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“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo
Music drives many of the things around us. It can change the entire environment, lift up spirits and remind us of moments in our life that lies deep within. At least thats how I see it. I am a huge fan of connected living and love fitness bands like Fitbit & Nike Fuelband that it helps me monitor my steps, sleep, water intake and so on. And with fitness comes Music and music is integral to fitness. And when Spotify decides to connect Music with Fitness, we get their first iteration – Spotify Running.
I do know it is not a fitness tracker. Spotify manages to offer you music that is based on the strides you take while running.
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Here are few marketing statement that I could find on the site;
  • Spotify Running finds your tempo and plays music to match.
  • Running in time with the music makes you feel more energetic, more motivated.
  • We’re music fans who love to run. So we put together the world’s best running music.
  • Check out Running Originals – amazing new music that adapts to your run. (Discover)
  • You can soundtrack your entire life with Spotify. Whatever you’re doing or feeling, we’ve got the music to make it better.

Initial Impressions

Spotify Running_Screen1_georgeiswrite

Spotify Running resides within the app itself. It is just an additional menu that set this apart from the rest of the options. The UI is simple and intuitive. It comes with 6 basic options; Burn, Epic, Seasons, Lock the Flow, Blissed out and The Chase.
On top of that, they have Running Playlist that plays popular tunes by Artist around the globe.
Do note: I am not here to review the music but the tech and my experience behind it.
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Fitbit or Nike calculates your steps by dedicated fitness bands. No matter how hard you swing your arms, it will only calculate your steps by the actual steps you take by your feet. This innovation is driven by Motion X, the company that provides the sensor-based solutions backed by data science to get accurate measurable data. Because I was so used to the way fitness bands work, I expected the same for Spotify to calculate my strides, I was dead wrong.
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Spotify actually calculates the tempo based on the movement registered by your iPhone, thats it. I was a tad bit disappointed at that because, I was expecting something more from a product like Spotify. I am not saying they should calculate Steps but instead calculate the Tempo based on actual heel strike which is the most basic when it comes to running like how apps like Strava and RunKeeper calculates using Motion X. Spotify Running definitely gets the ball rolling in terms of creating something that has never done before and I respect that but may be I am a sucker for minor details like these.
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I created this Tempo just waving my hand

I created this Tempo just waving my hand

Conclusion

Spotify has definitely something on in the right direction and is a clear differentiator when it comes to the crowded music streaming market with the entry of Apple Music. With the addition to the 6 basic options, they did introduce a Running Playlist which helps introduce Artists you’ve never heard before. Its basically a repurposing of their Shuffle feature, I suppose (clever).
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Even though I was a bit disappointed, its definitely a great place to start. I definitely know refinements are on the way and more innovations like these are expected from Spotify in the near future.

Thoughts on Ashley Madison hack and why its just the tip of the iceberg

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Privacy in his digital age is an illusion

What we share online is as open as it gets. No level of checked “I Agree” is strong enough to hold the fort. What you share on any platform is owned by the folks who run them.
I’m not telling you what to and what not to share but at least know that it would be good to keep a track of what you are willing to give away.

What do i mean by sharing?

Sharing is not only the deliberate action you take to put things on social media but the voluntary access you give to online services to access your data. Dropbox, Google Photos, SkyDrive and iCloud Photo backup are all those services in this case. Once you agreed to the T&Cs, you are pretty much a hamster on the Ferris wheel of supplying data.
So is it bad to do that? Absolutely not!
Don’t get me wrong, I love these services and I am glad that these information gets backed up automatically. I no longer dread when I see my external hard disk crash with all my wedding photos in it.
Tech giants really want users and they’ll do anything to get you onboard. They offer you, Unlimited space, bandwidth, sharing, editing, streaming…name it you have it. They even have world class security with 256 bit encryption. But the sad truth is all these services are bound to get hacked. If it hasn’t, it’s only a matter of time. Either companies caught up with the latest or hackers catch up. Ashley Madison is no exception to that rule.
The world is so fessed up about it because Ashley Madison stood for something outrageous.

Redrawing new boundaries

Ashley Madison is a business like anything else and only a few make their name by creating new boundaries. Look at PirateBay, LimeWire, Napster to name a few who redefined the movie and music industry by paving way for Apple Music, Spotify, Rdio and so on.
Were they rogues? Of course they were! but did they make us rethink and reconsider a new approach? None of that is the big picture we all ought to see. With the recent hack more proactive approach is taken in implementing new laws, guidelines and requirements to establish better services. But it also establishes new awareness and boundaries for us.
All this is a win for the public…but at a price.