Simfy is a stream dream
Streaming is the future of music. Until now, we had to take that statement as pronounced fact, looking on while the developed world pranced in joy at being able to use Spotify, the poster child of this new range of services.
But now, a local service has launched, called Simfy Africa, which offers much the same, at the dazzlingly low rate of R60 a month.
Like Spotify, it allows you to rent music that you can stream to your computer. And like Spotify, it offers a whole new way of listening to music. With millions of songs, it's a revolutionary way of finding new artists and new songs.
Spotify is the gold standard in streaming. It cleverly taps into the Facebook social graph, letting you tell your friends what you are listening to and recommending your favourite songs.
Such peer reviews have always been the best advertising for musicians. Simfy offers much the same.
Simfy is a German service that has teamed up with South African company eXactmobile to bring Simfy Africa to South Africa (simfyafrica.com).
Simfy allows you to store some files on your computer to play when you are offline, but even if you can find them on your hard drive you can't play them outside of the program.
It has apps for Apple, Android, and crucially, BlackBerry, given its popularity in South Africa.
There is a selection of millions of songs, from all of the four big music labels: EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner Music.
It sucks up an estimated 85 megabytes per hour, so be aware of this if you are on fixed bandwidth.
Music aficionados will want to listen to their music with a decent set of headphones, and two new ones are worth looking at.
The Marley Destiny TTR headphones, named after the reggae icon, have superb sound quality and, fitting, feature the colours of yellow, red and green.
They are made from mostly recycled material.
Meanwhile, the Dr Dre Beats franchise has added a wireless set that are as superb as the rest of this range made by Monster.
Calls via Bluetooth aren't as good as the streaming music and sound a bit tinny to the person you're talking to, but the convenience of the wireless headphones compensates for that.