Review: Spotify Music Service

By Wayne Webb

Swedish-based music streaming service, Spotify, was launched near the end of 2008, and has since grown to have 15 million plus users. Over the past 12 months it has grown in popularity, and having just started using the service, I can see why.

By Wayne Webb

Swedish-based music streaming service, Spotify, was launched near the end of 2008, and has since grown to have 15 million plus users. Over the past 12 months it has grown in popularity, and having just started using the service, I can see why.

I realise that not everyone is going to move to the new digital paradigm and drop the concept of owning a physical CD – especially the older generation. But to me it’s a bit like renting a power tool like a drill for the weekend. It’s not that you need to own a drill, it’s that you need to make a hole. Same thing with Spotify, you don’t need to own 16 Million songs, you just want to be able to listen to any music you want.

Spotify has changed the way I look at music and digital ownership. Essentially this is a service you pay a monthly fee for unlimited or premium access to a music. You can also listen to the music for free but have to put up with advertisements to do so. This entitles you to use of the Spotify back catalogue of music (in the millions of songs) and all the new releases as soon as they come on line.

If you have a PC, Mac or phone on either IOS or Android, then you download the app, select your music, build playlists and away you go. If you are on the free model there’s no change but you’d want to use it over wifi on your home or office network as you’d be streaming the data each and every time you listen. If you spring for the premium model then you can download it once and keep it to listen to offline if you desire. Searching is easy as typing in song, artist or album name and then clicking on it. Add it to a playlist and you are good to go. But Spotify has an abundance of other users building and sharing their playlists and selections too and you can search and use all of them.

Apps within the Spotify app itself can assist. ABC’s own Triple J has an app that allows you to check on the latest hotlist or featured albums and so does Guardian Music, another good source of reviews and new material.

You don’t own the music but you get free access to it or in the case of premium paid versions, a copy on your device as long as you have membership in the service. It may seem like a weird thing to get your head around but it makes good sense if you are a serious music lover and have a short attention span like me. In the last 10 days I have listened to 25 new albums, only 5 or 6 of which I would have bought at a store, and probably have to choose which ones not to buy. Instead of paying upwards of $100 on music, I now have an almost endless supply of music to tap into for $6.99 a month (unlimited service).

Making the change from owning physical CDs to leasing access to an open-ended catalogue of millions of songs is a leap of faith for some, but one I would recommend trying. After all you can always try the free version, or premium and stop anytime you like and go spend $20 per album again.

Pros: Huge back catalogue, up to the minute releases, good quality, single price, freemium version pricing, easy to use, multi platform. 
Cons: You don’t own the music.

4.5 Shacks Out Of 5

 

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