Luddite Article - Spotify Oddity


Spotify is a super slick music-streaming service with a huge catalogue of songs. It is available as a standard desktop program and with a premium account can be used across most smartphone platforms. Personally I have used the service since it launched in 2008 and have recently upgraded to a premium account.

 By Sam Richardson
  
 Spotify is a super slick music-streaming service with a huge catalogue of songs. It is available as a standard desktop program and with a premium account can be used across most smartphone platforms. Personally I have used the service since it launched in 2008 and have recently upgraded to a premium account.
  
 Spotify offers three different account option- Free, Unlimited and Premium. The free account allows users to listen to the millions of tracks available but with a limit of 10 hours per month usage. There is also a 5 plays per month for each individual song limit. There are also lots of very annoying ads in between songs and all over the desktop program.
  
 The Unlimited service provides ad-free streaming with no limit on usage and costs £4.99 per month. So for the price of 5 songs per month on iTunes, the user can experience the benefits of the 15,000,000 song catalogue Spotify boasts.
  
 With the Premium account, which costs £9.99 per month, the subscriber reaps all of the benefits of the Unlimited account and more. The Premium account appealed to me because of the multi platform availability- iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Symbian and Palm phones can all use the service through an app.
 In order to access Spotify on your computer you’ll first need to download their application. The user interface is incredibly simple and intuitive. Searches are fast and music streams without delay which is very impressive considering the amount of users that must be online at any one time.
  
 Spotify can be connected to a Facebook account which makes listening to those Guilty Pleasures a public affair! This feature is quite useful for discovering music that your friends are listening to.
  
 For those willing to pay out for the Premium account the iPhone app is again very simple but incredibly well designed. It is quite similar to the Music player that is already incorporated into the iPhone which means you already know how to use it. There are a few added features that ensure the user can navigate and search easily. Streaming songs over the 3G worked seamlessly but severely eats into the already short battery life that the iPhone ‘boasts’. However to save some of this battery, Spotify can work without an Internet connection.
  
 There is a switch that allows you to enable ‘offline’ mode. This mode downloads selected playlists or ‘starred’ songs to the iPhone’s storage, letting you access the music without a connection. For those of you out there who think a sneaky method of downloading all of the songs you want in one month then cancelling your subscription- im afraid this isn’t possible. You must reconnect to Spotify every 30 days for those tracks to remain active.
  
 What Spotify comes down to is whether you’re comfortable paying £9.99 a month and not actually have any music to show for your money. Sound quality is better than downloading through iTunes, you can purchase tracks you really want to own, build and share playlists and listen to a near enough unlimited amount of artists without having to waste money on rubbish you’ll only listen to once.
  
 My recommendation- if you’re already spending more than £9.99 a month on music, you won’t regret it.
  

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