Use an iPhone to Scan Music CDs into Spotify

Use an iPhone to Scan Music CDs into Spotify

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Don’t hum a few bars of a song and ask me its name and that of the artist that recorded it.

I like listening to music, now and again, but I’m not really “into it” as many of my friends have been over the years.

But like many Baby Boomers, I do have a pile of music CDs, a form of digital media that is finally going by the technology wayside after replacing the LPs and reel-to-real music tapes that I collected from the 1960s through the 1970s.

(Grace Kat Flickr Photo)
(Grace Kat Flickr Photo)

My aging automobiles both have CD players, so if I’m on a “road trip” I can put a few CDs in the glove compartment and sing along while I get my kicks on Route 66.

But these days I’m unlikely to find a CD player in a hotel or motel room, so I need another way to “tune into” my tunes when I’m not tooling down the highway.

I sometimes use the free version of the Pandora music service, but I’d rather listen to “my own” music wherever I am in the world.

I have an iMac desktop computer, an iPad and an iPhone, and have “ripped” some of my music CDs into a library of tracks and albums that I can share between those devices.

But that transfer process is a bit slow, and I haven’t even tried it with my new iMac desktop which lacks a built-in CD player.

So when I recently read about an iPhone app that lets you quickly “load” an album into the Spotify online music service by scanning the CD’s barcode, I decided to sign up for a free Spotify account.

Here’s how that scanning process works.

CD Scanner AppFirst you need to sign up for a Spotify account which is very easy, especially if you have a Facebook account since you can use that to log into Spotify from a computer or mobile device.

Then you need to download the free Spotify app for iPhone.

Finally, you have to buy an install the $2.99 “CD Scanner for Spotify” app from the iTunes App Store; it will connect to the Spotify app on your phone.

Then just launch the scanning app, point it at the barcode on the CD case label, and the app will search for the album on Spotify.

If that album isn’t on Spotify, the app will suggest similar albums. For example, the app couldn’t find volume “II” or “III” of Rod Stewart’s “Great American Songbook,” but it found the “complete” version of that album.

Once you’ve found the album, just hit “Save” to add it “Your Music.”

The only downside is that you can’t listen to your Spotify music off-line with a free account. You’ve got to upgrade to a “Premium” account (30-day free trial, then $9.99/month).

So since I’m not an obsessive-compulsive music listener, and because I do have an external CD drive for my new iMac, I’ll probably continue to rip those old CDs into iTunes and sync those songs to my iPhone and iPad rather than pony up $10/month for the rest of my mobile-music listening life.


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