If you’ve managed to escape all the hype about Spotify, congratulations – you’ve found a hiding spot that Osama Bin Laden would envy. The noise about the streaming music service has been everywhere – even noted Western philosopher and parenting expert Britney Spears has recommended Spotify!
What’s the buzz about?
Currently available only in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and (as of this week) the United States, Spotify boasts a catalog of 15 million songs. Downloading and installing the program takes a minute or two, and songs from the seemingly endless catalog are available in seconds with a mouse click. Here’s a quick (1 minute) video that’ll give you the basic rundown:
The service is available in three flavors – Free (available by invitation only), which lets you access the service but sprinkles in some ads; Unlimited ($4.99/mo.), which eliminates the ads and enables you to take your music abroad; and Premium ($9.99/mo.), which additionally enables you to stream music to your portable device and experience upgraded sound quality.
Request an invitation
Spotify also lets you listen to music already on your computer, so your iTunes library is available from the Spotify dashboard. Searches take a second or so, and with 15 million songs, you’re guaranteed to find whatever music you enjoy – from rock, blues, classical, jazz, electronica – you name it. Even Ms. Spears’, er, body of work is available.
There’s a lot to like here. If you’d like to request an invitation for the free service, click here: Spotify invitation
Here are a few quick screenshots that capture some of Spotify’s capabilities. When you search for an artist, tracks are returned in terms of popularity; of course you can also search by album (or artist, if you’ve searched for a song title) — (click on any of the following images for a close-up)
Note also that thumbnails of this artist’s albums appear at the top; click on one, and you’ll see just the tracks from that album:
Drag the songs you like into a playlist (you can create custom playlists; in this case I dragged songs into “Misc”). After doing so, the tracks appear in my Library, along with the tracks which were already in my (local) iTunes library. Access your account from another computer, and all the tracks you’ve gotten from Spotify will be available to you. The “Local Files” folder includes those tracks which were already resident on that particular computer, by the way:
Here’s a shot of the Spotify homepage:
Finally, you can create custom playlists; log on with another computer, and they’ll be available to you. If you opt for one of the premium versions, you can listen to these tracks offline.
All in all, I’ve really been wowed by Spotify. Definitely check it out.
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