“Grabbing” Music “On The Road”

“Grabbing” Music “On The Road”

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I recently wrote about how you can scan your CDs into a Spotify account in order to take those albums with you on a “road trip.”

But suppose during your travels, you hear a song being played and you want to add that to either the Spotify or iTunes libraries on your iPhone?

(Free Stocks.org Flickr Photo)
(Free Stocks.org Flickr Photo)

Here’s two ways that you can both “name that tune” and “grab it” for listening.


Starbucks. Where can you find a Starbucks coffee store? Just about everywhere you travel.

If you’re in Starbucks sipping on a latte, you’ll probably hear music playing.

If you’ve got both Starbucks and Spotify iPhone apps and accounts, and have connected those two accounts, you can capture that music to your phone.

This Starbucks video shows how it works.


To see the song’s title, look at the banner at the bottom of the Starbucks app. Then tap on the banner to get the option to save the song to a “Saved at Starbucks” playlist in your Spotify account.

The first time you do that, the Starbucks app will display a three-screen “tutorial” that explains the Starbucks-Spotify linking. Be sure to swipe left once you get to last screen in order to actually be able to start saving songs to Spotify.

If you have a free Spotify account, you’ll only be able to listen to those saved songs using the Spotify app when you’ve got an Internet connection, and you’ll only be able to listen to them using “Shuffle Play” rather than playing a specific song.

To listen off-line or avoid “Shuffle Play,” you’ll have to upgrade your free Spotify account to a premium one (free 30-day trial, then $9.99/month).


(Liz West Flickr Photo)
(Liz West Flickr Photo)

Regardless of where you are, if you hear a pre-recorded song being played, maybe on your car radio or the jukebox in a roadside diner, the Shazam iPhone app will try to identify the song, and give you these options for playing or saving it:

You can play a short piece of song for free to decide whether you want to listen to the entire song, save or buy it.

Sorting Out the “Pay-to-Play” Music Services

By now you’ve probably figure out that there isn’t a “free” as in “free music.” You get what you pay for, and you don’t get much if you don’t pay anything.

The article in The Dallas Morning News offers a good comparison between Spotify and Pandora, and the free and paid accounts each offers.

And this one from Macworld.com details how Apple Music works and what you will pay to use it.

Too cheap to pony up cash every month for these services?

Dig out those old CDs and scan them into your Spotify account and listen to them for free when you’ve got an Internet connection, or take the time to “rip” them into iTunes on your computer so you can play them off-line at no cost.

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