When I play golf by myself, I’ll put on a playlist that I titled “Strictly Good Songs”. These are 628 songs that I don’t need to skip through. At first I experimented with putting all types of songs that I consider “good”. However, if I were to get paired up and Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game comes on, I’d rather not explain. So I slowly curated it to more upbeat music with bands I like and their best and lesser knowns songs. 628 is a good number, but even these songs have gotten a bit stale after listening to this list for a few years.

I have another playlist titled “Latest and Hottest” which I started in 2013 which has 4,000 songs. I add the newest weekly songs from Spotify’s playlist from every artist that I find worth listening to and only delete the worst. Now if I were to shuffle this, which I’ve started to do from time to time when I golf, these songs bring back the “oh, I’ve heard this before”, rather than the “I’m tired of this song.” I enjoy the surprise of what song is going to play even though I know I probably haven’t heard it a ton.

I have other playlists for EDM, Classic Rock, 80’s and Hip Hop, but I rarely add to them and they only find my rotation under certain circumstances. I remember getting grouped with guys in their 50’s and I started playing the Classic Rock music and they dug it. Trying to find the right mix with the right people is not easy. Who would think Bud would listen to Octane! I’m going to take the next section and breakdown the playlist vs radio which I’m finding to be more challenging as playlists become easier, yet more tiresome.

Siriuis or Spotify

I pay for music entertainment. Sirius is around $13 a month for a yearly subscription and Spotify is $11. This is no brainer value. Some scoff at paying for a “free” service, but it’s clear nothing is free anymore. If you hear ads, you are paying with your time which is far more costly than the dollar.

I listen to music anytime I sit at a computer. If you’re one of those people who prefer silence, what is wrong with you? If I get into an Uber with no music, I know it’s going to be a long ride. When I’m in my car by myself, I don’t put on playlists. I like not knowing what songs are coming on. If I’m picking my songs, or even if I know what playlist, it’s like I’m never venturing into new territory. Plus, songs on my playlist are songs I’ve most likely listened to many times before. They grow stale.

I like the radio personality introducing music. I even like the programs that DJ’s or artists curate on Sirius. Most likely these professionals know music better than I do and put on songs I would enjoy. The ability to flip through stations until you find a groove is obviously a selling point. The human touch to the music makes me feel like it’s not a robotic experience. Plus, radio can introduce new artists a little bit easier with their weekly shows like Advanced Placement and the Electro 15.

So when do I like playlists? Quite simply, when I’m by myself. Playlists come with an underlying job of making people like the music you pick which can be devastating. If I put money in TouchTunes at McGillans, I’m responsible for dozens of people’s enjoyment. Sure there are standards like Mr. Brightside and You Can Call Me Al, but try playing Opus and watch what happens. Using the radio removes the human factor. People can say this station sucks, but most likely it’s being played because it’s choosing the songs that are the most popular for that genre. It’s safe. When I’m at work, I’l put on Sirius for the main purpose that Jeff and Sam don’t get annoyed that I’m the DJ. They don’t like the Cure like I do!

I looked at the top 30 most Streamed artists in Rolling Stone and my time has passed. I’m a fossil. It was a rude awakening but I’ve accepted that I’m not hip or with it. I know a lot of music, but my music is not what the kids are listening to. Times change.