by James Whalen ◊ Jun 15, 2012
In recent years we have seen people migrate from physical forms of music collecting to digital ones. Some people use iTunes or other online stores to buy their music, while some hardcore disk fans will still buy the physical CDs and just rip the music to their computer. This concept of digital music is incredibly young, but has been adopted by music lovers everywhere. The reason is simple, managing computer files is just easier than physical disks. We have torn off the shackles of bulky CD jackets and minimalized our lives with an iPod. We see cars now coming standard with either internal storage for music or an auxiliary port for connecting of digital music players. It won’t be very long until we see physical media completely wiped off the planet. So, what is Spotify and why is it different? Well, Spotify, instead of relying on micro transactions for music, such a paying for individual songs, offers a monthly charge for unlimited music. I can’t understate its popularity. Spotify was quite active in Europe and gained a huge following, and when it was released in the U.S., its popularity skyrocketed. At this time, 17.5 million people use Spotify. Subscription music is a neat concept, but does it really work?
• All the music ever (that Spotify could get the rights for).
• Easy to use.
• Mobile Apps.
• Flexible premium subscription prices.
• Free for anyone to use (with limitations).
• Great social media integration.
• Playlists that aren’t saved for offline won’t be available without an internet connection.
• The free version comes with ads.
• The Desktop App can use some refinement.
• Mobile Apps require a premium subscription.
• Subscription music isn’t for everyone.
• You don’t really get all the music ever (but most of it).
How to Spotify:
So, you want to use Spotify, great! Head over to spotify.com and make an account. It’s really easy, because you can just connect with Facebook. Done? Congrats you have tons of music for free. Spotify is a free service at its core. Its Desktop App is user friendly and feels much similar to the iTunes program for Mac. Technical issues aren’t widespread. Most people have little to no issue getting it to work properly and, if there are any problems, there’s a very helpful community and support team to assist you.
The Subscription Plans:
• Millions of songs.
• Play local content.
• Share music with friends.
• You get ads and can only listen to music with an internet connection also the stream quality isn’t great.
• There is a 10 gig monthly cap.
• $5 a month.
• All the free features.
• No ads.
• Unlimited streaming of music.
• $10 a month.
• All of the above.
• Spotify Mobile (you can access the mobile application on your phone).
• Sync music to iPods.
• Offline playlist support.
• High quality stream.
Which One to Get:
Personally, I’d opt for the Premium package because of the offline support, higher quality audio, and Mobile Apps. I have used it to completely replace the way I listen to music.
Why You Might Want to Make It Your Main Way to Get Music:
You literally get millions of songs for free. You can easily substitute Spotify for any digital music distribution service; however the model isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t want a monthly fee and only have a small collection of music they really listen too, but if you’re someone who constantly wants to stay up to date with all the latest albums and find yourself paying for more than 5 or 10 bucks worth of music a month then this service is perfect for you.
Why You Might Not Want It:
Spotify is a monthly subscription-based service. If you create tons of playlists all synced for offline and completely rely on it, ending your subscription cripples your ability to listen to music. Free is not anywhere near a replacement for your music library. It’s fun to connect with friends and listen to some tunes, but not for listening to music for hours and hours and hours. FREE SPOTIFY COMES WITH A CAP. You will more than likely get shut down within the month if you listen to music ALL the time like I do. Pandora has a 40-hour cap, Spotify has a 10-hour cap. Most people won’t run into this issue, but’s important to keep in mind.
Spotify isn’t for everyone. It’s a unique form of distribution that we haven’t really seen before. However, it’s the perfect alternative for some people and, in my honest opinion, is the future of music distribution. A number out of 10 is impossible to give to Spotify. You have to really try it out for yourself to see if the service is right for you but it has my coveted “seal of approval.”