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A Gary Allan song was the last straw. The song itself was great (Airplanes if you’re wondering), but the $1.29 I had to pay for it irked me more than parting with 129 cents probably should. But it led me to try out some other options for playing music on my computer, because paying for music can add up! Spotify was a program a number of my friends were already using and I thought I would try it. After downloading it, using it, experimenting with it, and asking others about it, the bottom line is this: if you enjoy listening to music, Spotify needs to be a icon on your desktop!
Cost: Lack of, actually. Spotify is completely free. There is an option to upgrade to Spotify Premium for $8.99 to gain a couple more features and eliminate ads completely.
Playlists: Spotify is all about playlists. You can make your own, or play other people’s playlists that are already made.
Social Interaction: One of the cool features is to have friends (able to automatically link to Facebook friends who use Spotify) or artists and follow their music. Basically you can see what a friend is currently listening to, or check out the playlists Gary Allan created for himself to listen to.
Compatibility: I was surprised by the fact that within Spotify I was able to access songs I already had on iTunes. You can actually import your exact iTunes playlists! Spotify also syncs well with iPads and smart phones.
Commercials: We should know it by now: free comes with a cost. Ads is how Spotify makes money. I tracked the advertisements for hours of playing and there was approximately one 30-second commercial for every 15 minutes of music.
The Beatles Factor: Due to copyright issues, you won’t be able to find songs by these artists: The Beatles (who just recently gave rights for iTunes to sell), Garth Brooks, AC/DC, Bob Segar, Beyonnce, among some others. This may be a deal breaker for some. But remember, if you already have songs from these artists, you can play them in Spotify and add them to your playlists!
WiFi Dependent: Because Spotify is about streaming music, you have to internet access to enjoy the program.
No Burn: Burning CD’s isn’t an option on Spotify because a person technically doesn’t own the music. You can jam to your Spotify playlists if you have an appropriate smart phone setup for your car.
Spotify was close enough to what I was looking for for me to switch. Having access to songs I want to listen to but not buy with the ability to play songs I already had in my music library convinced me. In the digital age, I think it’s the closest way we can follow the advice of a great country singer to have “Nothing on but the radio.”
What have you discovered in your quest for listening to music on your computer? Should people be required to buy artist’s songs?