Charlie wrote: . . . It all feels very cumbersome and I have no sense of discovering anything wonderful as a way of listening. But then I also find iTunes a horrible-looking mess.
Welcome to C21 music listening! I generally share Charlie's reactions. Not that I can use Spotify myself in the US, but various supposed digital improvements in musical exploration have usually left me cold after some initial excitement.
So far, the one to beat for me is eMusic. $20 a month, 90 tracks to download, decent selection although far from everything. Rhapsody not too bad, but hasn't grabbed my heart. Mondomix on the right track, but again doesn't wow me enough. iTunes always refusing to let me get stuff 'cos I'm out of territory. MySpace is just too much work! Pandora gets boring fast and very limited on music I'm interested in. Amazon is improving slowly â€” sorry about that to those with issues over Amazon. Part of the problem is that digital searching etc. has its limitations â€” things get tagged wrong or inadequately, and also when you're really looking for the obscure, you're reliant on someone else in the network supplying something that may truly be rare, just 'cos it ain't there doesn't mean it doesn't exist and so as a library, even only as a library catalog, it's not entirely reliable as a guide to "all" music.
I'm waiting for the revival of good old record stores â€” give me the Berkeley Amoeba in the late '90s! I like the physical world and don't find it as lacking as some do. Especially if there's a pub around the corner.