Create Your Own Playlists and Share Them
Play Local Files On Spotify
Share Your Favorites With Friends
The bottom line: It’s the best free music option since stealing.
As a first-time user, you install the free Spotify Mac/PC application, open it up, and watch as it automatically imports your music collection and playlists from iTunes and other music software and presents you with a landing page filled with new releases, top lists, and music shared by your friends. Setup is swift.
Spotify’s polished, iTunes-like interface is as inviting to music fans as a well-stocked record bin. Each portion of the bento-boxlike layout can be resized, and playback, volume, and track scrubber controls are placed neatly across the bottom. Browser-style back and forward buttons located to the left of the search box allow you to dig your way back out out of the rabbit hole of music discovery.
Features and support
Spotify’s big trick is a little search box at the top of the screen that lets you search for any reasonably popular artist, song, or album in existence and stream it immediately. You can’t get The Beatles, but we had no problem finding greats like The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, as well as obscure indies such as The Ghastly Ones or Four Tet.
Put simply, you tell your computer what you want to hear, and it plays it for you…for free, and without limitations for up to six months. It doesn’t play something similar to the song you want (like Pandora), or a 30- to 60-second clip of the song you want (like iTunes)–it plays you the whole song or album, just as if it were in your personal music collection.
Of course, there are a few other bells and whistles that make Spotify its own special thing. Facebook and Twitter integration enables you to easily share music discoveries with friends. Artist pages encourage discovery with bio pages and links out to similar artists and top hits of the decade to add context. Without any friction preventing you from jumping from one great song to the next, Spotify also provides a play queue off to the side, allowing you to stash your discoveries without interrupting the currently playing song.
Spotify’s music service is uniquely generous, but it’s not without limitations. Using the free version of the service, full songs can be streamed on demand in unlimited numbers for up to six months (with the occasional audio ad popping into rotation, similar to Pandora). After that time, free users can only play a given track a maximum of five times per month and are also subject to a cap of 10 hours of streaming per month. If you cough up $5 per month, those restrictions (and ads) disappear, but you’re still limited to listening only from your computer. At $10 per month, you can use Spotify on mobile devices (including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7), and even cache your favorite music and playlists for offline listening.
We are happy to report that Spotify’s song streams have a near-instant response upon start-up. For the most part, the experience feels just like listening to your locally stored music collection. The illusion is broken when you go to jump to the middle of a song or hit the skip button, which introduces a minor lag.
We had no issue with Spotify’s default sound quality (96-160Kbps Ogg Vorbis), but fickle users have the option of digging into the software’s Preferences and enabling high-quality streaming (320Kbps Ogg Vorbis).
Spotify is an innovative, new, music interface that allows users to search and listen to music for free. Featuring never-before options like sharing play-lists with friends, listening to music with it on your mobile phone, and syncing effortlessly to social networks like Facebook, it’s an easy way to incorporate music into your every day life.
If you haven’t already joined, go to Spotify’s website to sign up with a username and password. After downloading the Spotify client on your computer, the fun begins!
Using the toolbar, search for any artist or song you feel like listening to. It will bring up covers, the originals, and every one who has played that song in the Spotify database. When you find one you like, simply star it! It will be easily accessible next time you want to hear it.
Connect With Friends
If you are like every other social-network user, connect Spotify with your Facebook. By doing so, you can choose which songs to share with your friends, see who else is on Spotify, and make collaborative play-lists.
Do this by hitting the “Import friends” button in the right upper corner of the Spotify application. Log into your Facebook and follow the directions – before you know it, all of your friends appear on the right hand side of your Spotify applications… from there you can view their favorites, their play-lists, etc.
Once you are connected with your friends on Spotify, create play-lists they can subscribe to. Every time a new song is added, they are notified and can listen to what you are currently listening to!
Another great way to share over 15 million songs with your buddies is to use Facebook. By simply clicking the “Share on Facebook” in the left-hand corner of the song you are listening to, it will show up instantly on your feed. Adding a soundtrack to your Facebook for your friends and family has never been easier!
Choose a Membership That is Right For You
Spotify has really reasonable rates for unlimited music listening. From $4.99, you can listen to music streaming instantly on your computer or phone, with no advertisements. If the ads don’t bother you, stick to the free account! If you run out of music time, consider switching to a premium account to keep listening.
Add a soundtrack to your life, wherever you are. Whether on-the-go with your mobile phone, or on the computer, the 15 million tracks and counting are sure to leave you satisfied.
Spotify is a free music streaming service that was started in October, 2008. Since then its popularity has exploded — and for good reason. Simply search through their artist libraries, starring your favorite songs as you go along. Want more of the same type of music? Go to artist radio, that will play artists similar to your favorite, or click related artists and get a large list of similar artists. It makes it easy to build monster playlists. And those are playlists that you can share with your friends! If your friends have Spotify, they can listen to your playlists and you can listen to theirs.
Spotify is more than just music streaming software. It’s social networking genius. The tracks you are listening to will automatically be fed through to your Facebook page. If you see a friend listening to a song that you like, simply click on the title in the live stream to play it in Spotify.
The good people at Spotify have even seen fit to add apps to their service. Ever wondered what your favorite artist is saying during that one song of his? Add the TuneWiki app and it will sync the lyrics up with the songs you play! Curious when your favorite band will be touring in your area? Download SongKick Concerts and you’ll never miss another show again. There are several other apps available as well to make your music listening experience that much more fun.
As if Spotify wasn’t awesome enough as it is, for $9.99 you can use Spotify Premium. With this extended service, you can listen to Spotify wherever you go. You can play it through your mobile device, even hook your smart phone up to your car radio and jam to Spotify on your way to work! Have a Sonos wireless music system in your house? You can connect Spotify up to it and stream the tunes into any room of your home! You can also get Spotify through many other receivers, including WD TV and Boxee. One of the best things about Spotify Premium is off-line mode. You can save your favorite playlists to your computer or phone and listen to them even when you don’t have internet access! How cool is that?
Spotify is an innovative, amazing new music service. Once you start using it, you’ll never know how you lived without it. I know I sure don’t!