Spotify lets you browse, play and share streamed music for free, including not only your lifelong favorite bands, but also brand new styles and artists.
Spotify turned the world of online music streaming upside down, providing users with access to a massive music catalog anyplace, anytime.
While comparisons with other similar services such as Last.fm are inevitable, Spotify has certain characteristics that make it stand out from the rest.
You can search the entire Spotify music database in several ways (by artist, album, genre, decade, label brandâ€¦), create as many playlists as you want and share them with other users, and learn more about your favorite bands thanks to extensive, highly detailed biographies.
There are two ways to sign-up for Spotify. Either you can wait for one of your friends that use Spotify to send you an invite, or you can sign-up for free using Spotify Open. The only difference is that if you receive an invite, you will be entitled to unlimited free ad-supported music listening.
If you sign-up for Spotify Open, you will be subject to 20 hours of free ad-supported music listening per month. Once this limit is reached, you have two options. One is to sign-up for Spotify Premium which costs around $10 a month, contains no ads and entitles you to listen to music on your mobile device as well. The other is to sign-up for Spotify Unlimited which only costs around â‚¬5 a month, contains no ads but does not support mobile devices.
Spotify also helps you discover new music through the â€oRelated artistsâ€? and Radio service. The first one points you to other bands with similar style to the one youâ€™re currently listening to, while the latter plays a mixed selection of artists and songs, all of them somehow related to the current artist i?1" because they shared active years, label brand or music style.
The one big criticism of Spotify, however, was the lack of social features. Luckily the developers seem to have taken note of this complaint and include a bunch of new social elements in Spotifyâ€™s latest version. You can now create a Spotify profile with your top songs and playlists, import your Facebook friends to Spotify, and share songs and playlists on Twitter and Facebook from within the program itself.
Another new feature in Spotify is the so-called Library, a centralized area from which you can manage your music collection including Spotify's lists, purchased songs and your own MP3 files, which you can now import into Spotify from your hard drive, your Windows Media Player Library or your iTunes library.
Just like a good wine, Spotify gets better with age. If you donâ€™t mind the ads in the Free version (or youâ€™re willing to pay for the Premium one) itâ€™s probably time to ditch your old desktop music player.