The music streaming service Spotify will change the way you listen music. There, I said it. I have not touched my iTunes since I downloaded it a few weeks ago. And forget the Genome project of Pandora, Spotify allows you to listen to any song, any album, or any artist on your own terms. Think iTunes but with instant access to millions upon millions of songs.
First of all, Spotify is actually more of an app than a website. The service has been creating a buzz for years in select countries in Europe and, as of July 2011, was finally introduced to the United States after what I’m sure was long legal battles with record labels. But that’s all in the past and now, Spotify is here.
Ok, so how does it work? Well it works kind of like iTunes. First go to Spotify’s website to download your desktop app, then create an account with Spotify. But here’s where it gets tricky and where many of you may get turned off. Spotify does have a free version, but it’s limited. The free version will likely cut your streaming capabilities to 10 hours per month, like they have with the European version. You will also have to sit through ads, both visually on your desktop and audio ads in between songs. You also will need a special invite from one of your paying Spotify friends. Are you fine with that? Well good for you. But I would suggest you stop being cheap and take advantage of the robust features of the paid versions.
For a whopping $4.99 per month (less than two PBR’s at your local watering hole), you get unlimited streaming music and no ads. Good for those of you, like myself, that will simply use it while at home or in the office. Come ski season however, you might want to think of shelling out the big bucks to get the next and final level membership, the Premium membership. For $9.99 per month, you get unlimited streaming music, no ads, a mobile version, and, get this, offline listening! Imagine riding the chair lift with basically every song ever made right at your fingertips. You thought you were rad before? Try slaying lines to Pantera’s entire discography.
Regardless of what version you go for, basic features inlude the ability to create playlists, search new music, add favorites, share with friends and even play your iTunes library. Bottom line, Spotify is worth at least a look. I think you’ll find yourself more willing to pay for music than you think.
Not sold? Check out Spotify’s welcome to America teaser below: