So I recently became a premium subscriber to the U.K. streaming music provider Spotify. Having used it for nearly a week, I thought I’d write my own little Spotify review to help you make a decision whether this is the right service for you.
I was skeptical when I heard Spotify was launching in the U.S. I was unclear on exactly how the service works, and I doubted that streaming music could stream efficiently. I also didn’t understand how streaming songs could be played offline, and I was doubtful there’d be a robust song selection. Well, this Doubting Thomas has become a convert. I LOVE SPOTIFY!
Spotify allows users to stream musical tracks directly to your computer and mobile device. With a premium subscription, you can also listen to tracks offline. There is also a social networking component that allows you to see what your friends have in their public playlists (though this feature seems to have quite a few bugs with it still).
First, the streaming works really well. I have very occasionally run into some issues with a delay in playback or a complete drop. But that is very rare. And it usually only happens when I’m importing songs for offline mode, which puts a strain on my bandwidth. Other than that, it is completely seamless.
The sound quality is very decent. It’s not perfect, and I really wish Spotify would provide an equalizer. Some tracks are a little off-balance, especially those with heavier bass. But these are minor issues, and the average music listener wouldn’t even notice. Overall, I’d give the sound quality an 8 on a scale of 10.
The song selection is outstanding. I have run into a few albums/artists that are not offered on Spotify (Frank Zappa, Smog, Adele’s newest album). But overall, it has everything you could want from 1930s jazz to 1970s soul to contemporary pop and rock. It’s a tremendously better selection than eMusic, which I had to stop using due to its extraordinarily limited catalogue.
The offline mode works wonderfully. I can listen to any track that I’ve synced up to listen to offline with no issues whatsoever. Whether I’m walking down the street or in a train tunnel, it works great.
The price is absolutely amazing. $10 a month. I already have streamed more than 500 songs in a week to listen to in offline mode from Stevie Wonder to Wild Beasts to Ween. I honestly don’t see how the iTunes store can compete.
I think the days of actually owning your music may be over. Netflix paved the way with its all-you-can-watch streaming movie/t.v. service. Spotify is like that but for music and with a much better selection.
So, in conclusion, I have listened to the future. And it sounds a lot like the hundreds of songs I am streaming from Spotify.