So Spotify has finally made it to America. I had heard about its mass popularity overseas, and had even once tried to download it, not knowing it wasn’t available here in the states yet. Yeah I know there is already services like Rhapsody out there, but the cool part of this is that Spotify also provides free service (with ads of course), unlike its counterparts. There certainly some limits to this free service.
The first six months you get a 2o hours of listening time, with 5 hours being added back to your account once a week. After six months, your max drops to 10 hours with 2.5 hours being added each week. So if I understand this correctly that gives you the a maximum of 40 hours per month of listening time the first six months and 20 hours per month after that. For the common music listener, that means you will get to listen to roughly 800 songs per month at first, then 400 songs a month thereafter. (Assuming the an average song time of 3 minutes) More than enough I think. As for me, I listen to albums, so assuming the average album length of 60 minutes (which I assume is a little high) I would get to listen to a max of 40 albums a month to begin then 20 thereafter. So about 10 a week isn’t bad for me when combined with music I already own. Five on the other hand is a bit low, but I can’t complain since it is free.
The other downfall to the free service is it is only available on your PC. If you want to bring the music with you via your iPhone or Android device you have to pay for the premium service. I don’t know about you guys, but most of my listening takes place from either my iPod Touch or from my cell phone. I do spend some of my time listening from my computer, and may do so more while I play around more with Spotify, but if I were to stick with the service I would have to really consider premium for this reason. There are actually three tiers of accounts, “free” which was basically explained above. There there is “Unlimited” which gives you unlimited listening times from your computer for $4.99/month. Last is the previously mentioned “Premium” service that lets you stream music to your portable device, as well as an off-line mode that allows you to download music to you computer or device temporarily to listening while not connected to the web. It also includes unlimited listening too, just for the record.
I have only been using this service for about 48 now, so I’m still just exploring this. Thus far I have found the library amazing. It has complete discographies of just about every single artist I searched for. In many case there were bands of whom I have heard one or two albums that I can now give a listen to stuff I haven’t heard with out having to go and purchase them (or stealing them). I like to support the artist so I’m trying to find ways of getting away from the latter. If I like these “new” albums I will still go out buy them, seeing as how I still like the physicality of holding albums/art. The other cool part I found was a listing of “Related Artist” I am always searching for new music, whether is by suggestions of friends, NPR Music, or just browsing MySpace Music. In any case the related artist, has already turned me onto several new artist I find interesting.
So if you haven’t already I suggest going and checking it out. Have a little patience though, after you enter your email address you will probably have to wait several days for an invitation. Lame I know, but well worth the wait. Check it out and let me know how you feel about it. Is this the future of the music industry??