Weekly wave: Apple Music stats confirm my music addiction – Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — I listen to a lot of music — while driving, working, chilling, eating and (sometimes) sleeping — but the raw statistics can be a little startling.

Apple Music kindly tracks, compiles and shares a year’s worth of tunes with its subscribers towards the end of the year (much like other music streaming services like Spotify). Many music lovers proudly display these playlists on Facebook or Instagram.

I guess that’s one of the reasons we have smartphones – to tell us how addicted we are to popular music.

I must be in need of an intervention. I share an account with my wife and daughter, so the numbers include their interests, and that explains how we listened to more than 3,000 minutes (or more than two whole days) of Taylor Swift music in 2023 with three weeks to go! Above that, Travis Kelce!

While most of those minutes can be directly attributed to other members of my family, I will admit that I contribute a little to it as well. Swift has accumulated an impressive number of catchy songs.

But according to Apple Music data, my first loves are the triple threat of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2,500 minutes), Rush (1,300 minutes) and the Eagles (1,000 minutes), with a little guilt (Dua Lipa — 1,200 minutes). Hey, don’t judge me. Lipa can sing and create dance hits with the best of them!

These permanent tunes add up to big numbers in a year – nearly 5,700 different songs, 880 different albums and 990 individual artists. And over 50,000 minutes of total listening pleasure.

Now I have a goal for 2024 — to knock Taylor Swift off the top spot and replace her with the late great Tom Petty… or maybe Dua Lipa.

I hope you have a great weekend, no matter what tunes you listen to.

Here are some of the headlines from this week:

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

A jogger runs along the nearly snow-free cross-country ski trail at the Bagley Nature Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. Most cross-country ski trails in the Northland were unable to open due to a lack of snow.

John Myers / Duluth Media Group

There are 15 days to shop until Christmas, so if you haven’t finished shopping, your time is running out.

And 15 days is all that is left for Old Man Winter to deliver some snow for a white Christmas.

Right now our landscape is dark green and brown.

Outdoors reporter John Myers isn’t a meteorologist, but he plays one for DNT and investigates weather trends and the El Niño that threatens to give Duluth its first brown Christmas in ages.

What a difference a year makes, eh?

(subscriber only story)

Fender for a bridge

The Blatnik Bridge, shown lit in 2017, opened to traffic between Duluth and Superior in 1961.

Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Drivers who spend a little time each week on the Blatnick Bridge are following plans to replace the bridge closely.

Fundraising remains the biggest box to check. It only needs about a billion dollars to be given the official green light. That’s a lot of bake sales and spaghetti dinners!

Reporter Shelly Nelson provided an update on where the project stands, including a potential timeline for when (if?) the federal government coughs up that cool billion.

Get caught here (subscribers only).

A light-skinned high school student reads the Duluth News Tribune.  The title reads,

Ordian Middle School student Cole Johnson reads the News Tribune for a 2007 newspaper study class.

Bob King / File / Duluth Media Group

We get quite a few questions about the paywall on our website. I imagine most newspapers hear the same refrain from people who wish website content was free – even though it’s never been free in print.

Arts & Entertainment reporter Jay Gabler tackled the subject in his Front Row Seats column this week and presented a case worthy of a Ph.D. Harvard scientist.

You can check that out here.

Here are a few more stories from the past week to check out:

Editor’s Note: The Weekly Wave is a newsletter I publish every Friday morning. Please consider subscribing — it’s free — and it only comes to your inbox once a week.

You can register here.


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Rick Lubbers

Rick Lubbers has been in his role since 2014 and at the News Tribune since 2005. Previous stops include Superior Telegram (1999-2005) and Budgeteer News (1997-1999). He previously worked at St. Cloud Times and Annandale Advocate in Minnesota and Greenville Daily News and Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. He received his journalism degree from Central Michigan University.

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