Are you are a music connoisseur looking for a great service and application to handle your streaming music needs? Today we take a look at the much talked about Spotify which is the coolest music streaming app we have looked at yet.
Spotify is a free music service based on P2P and client based technology and lets you listen to and discover millions of different music tracks. Each track is encoded with OGG Vorbis format and is protected with DRM so you cannot download and keep the music. The free version is ad supported and will play an advertisement occasionally while your listening.
Currently Spotify is officially available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. We were lucky enough to get an invitation to the beta version for the United States service. Here we will take a look at the Windows version and see what you can expect when it is officially available for US users.
After creating an account at the website, download the player for either Windows or Mac (Linux users can run Spotify under Wine). When you start Spotify you will need to log into your account. Checking to “Remember Me” will log you in automatically each time.
Their player has the familiar look and feel of iTunes. The features available in the player are very cool for a streaming music service. You can create playlists by drag and drop, arrange songs in a specific order, and can view album artwork.
When you search for an artist or band you will get results, details about the band, and notice the search queries are saved as well.
Under the Radio tab you can pick different genres and dates to listen to.
I did a search for Iron Maiden and got several albums in the results. The cool thing is you can drag the entire album title into a playlist.
You can also click on an album title to get more detail about it and read a review.
Though currently not available in the United States, overseas users can purchase tracks tracks they like buy right-clicking and buying it.
There is no buffering when playing tracks and they start virtually instantly and you can control the amount of cache space it uses on your hard drive. There is also the ability to scrobble the songs to Last.FM.
When minimized you can control basic controls of the player which is always a handy feature rather than having to open everything just to pause a track.
Their subscription model at this time includes three different levels free, one day pass, and premium membership. A day pass lets you listen ad free for 24 hours and monthly subscriptions are completely ad free, includes higher bit-rate OGG files, and other upgrades.
I would say that Spotify is the greatest streaming music service I have used yet. One caveat is the selection of music is less than what I get from Pandora. That might be due to my tastes and the fact they are still in beta, but isn’t a deal breaker by any means. Again Spotify is officially available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain but there is a lot of talk of getting a final US version soon. I have been extremely impressed with Spotify and while I doubt it will ever replace my collection it is an incredible tool to have for the music enthusiast. We are interested in what our friends across the pond, where it is officially available have to say about it. Leave a comment and let us know.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 09/14/09