The digital options for music fans are piling up so fast, it’s hard to know which ones are really even worth the effort. Pandora, Spotify, Songza (more on that on Wednesday)… Everyone is looking to make your favorite playlist and become your go-to digital music player, making it very refreshing to see a different approach.
If you aren’t already familiar with Daytrotter and its concept, I’ll let the company’s bio speak for itself: “We are not giving you songs from someone you love’s record album, thereby stealing from someone you love. We’re giving you exclusive, re-worked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by some of your favorite bands and by a lot of your next favorite bands.”
In practice, this means that gaggles of bands come through the Daytrotter studios in Rock Island, IL, play an excellent 4-song set, and then the good folks at Daytrotter give it to you in whatever digital format you’d prefer, accompanied by a fun cartoon-ish portrait of the band. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s original, and the hand-drawn creative the site uses make it add up to a very cozy experience. The bands range from the very well known (Wilco, Death Cab, Bon Iver) to the up-and-coming (Reptar, Lord Huron, Megafaun), but largely share a folk-ish vibe, though electronic acts like Com Truise are also in the mix for some variety, and the Daytrotter crew seems to be branching out more and more genre-wise.
Before you ask, no, it’s not free—it’s $2 a month for unlimited use of the site and all its original content, including via its mobile music app. The site itself has a music player and allows you to queue up as many sessions as you’d like as well as create playlists. The playlists can be done by song or session, and transfer to your mobile app as well, since it’s all streaming content. Oh, and in case you’d like Daytrotter to make a playlist for you, it will do that as well, sort of—musicians that have stopped by the studio pick their favorite Daytrotter session songs, and these playlists are available as well.
Daytrotter exemplifies what makes a satisfying digital experience with a music program. Since all the sessions are recorded in-house, the amount of content is manageable. Some might say this is a limiting factor, but with 15 bands and 60 songs added every week, there’s plenty to choose from. I get one email a day from Daytrotter, and I’m always excited to open it—it tells me who’s playing today, what time their session is if I’d like to listen live, and who is coming up soon.
There are also occasional live videos as well, but the point is this: Though of course it isn’t absolute musical perfection (the mobile app needs a shuffle feature, not all the sessions are homeruns), it is something unique and equally beneficial for all parties involved, and it’s put together in a very impressive, user-friendly digital package.
When you find yourself tired of all the other streaming music options, try one of the original variety.