Spotify, the renowned European music player and service, has finally broken through the U.S.A.’s resistant boundaries. Sitting here in the U.S.A. depending on iTunes, MOG, Rhapsody and the other countless music consumption tools was quite frustrating after hearing the Spotify ruckus across the pond. Well, those days of sitting, wishing and waiting are over. On July 14, 2011 Spotify announced their entrance to the U.S.A after 3 years of bolstering success in Europe. From a music consumer’s perspective, this is probably the best thing to happen in music.
If you are more of a video person, take a look at my recent Spotify Sneak Peek video:
Spotify Vs Everything Else
I personally love subscription services – they are easy, you know what you’re spending on music each month, and you have *almost* every song you could want at your finger tips. I have never really liked the iTunes model of pay per album/track, except from a musician’s standpoint. As a consumer, though, subscription is hands-down an easy win.
For the past year or so I’ve leaned heavily on MOG.com, which just rolled out a beautiful new interface. Despite MOG’s awesomeness, Spotify is a stronger tool. Spotify combines the functionality of iTunes’ offline interface with MOG’s online interface, which meshes into a nice music player and management system with on-demand access to millions of songs.
Some of Spotify’s main features include:
- An iTunes-like interface, a downloadable program to your computer (unlike MOG and many other services that are web browser-based)
- Quick search function that browses both your computer and the online database of over 15 million songs. This combination of online and offline music sets Spotify apart from almost all its competition.
- Music sharing that pulls from your Facebook friends. If you have friends on Facebook who are also on Spotify, you can see what music they are sharing or drop some music into their inbox for them to check out.
- Star your favorite albums and songs for quick, easy access.
- Playlist creation, much like iTunes. Oh, but you can listen to the songs offline or over 3G/4G.
- A stellar phone app, unlike MOG and Rdio.
- The option to pay or not pay. For $9.99, you get it all. If you can handle the frequent advertisements, you can listen for free though. I personally think the $9.99 investment is well worth everything you get, but for those that are less picky, the free option is also great.
- A quick loading program, unlike the heaviness of iTunes.
Spotify has the upper hand in most categories and was an easy switch for me personally. For people that aren’t quite comfortable with cloud services, you can still use your MP3s like the old days and get used to cloud living at the same time.
What Spotify Lacks (at least in the U.S.)
Music selection. Well, they have almost everything I want, but I was surprised to see some of the lesser-known bands missing, like Band of Skulls, and certain albums, such as Amos Lee’s “Supply and Demand.”
Ideally Spotify’s catalog will grow to include absolutely everything, but if some artists don’t jump on board, it might be beneficial to have the option to purchase music per track or album. For example, The Beatles aren’t on Spotify (or any on-demand music subscription service that I’m aware of), so if someone really wants The Beatles’ music, having a downloadable option would be great for the end-user. There would be no need to switch over to iTunes when you are craving that one song that’s missing from Spotify. I think Spotify’s goal, though, is to rid the music consumption world of the iTunes model altogether (eventually), and say adios to the artists that don’t want to advance with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the artists we are having to say “goodbye” to are usually the most-loved.
Free Spotify Code Here
Try Spotify out. I think most people will love it.
The first 8 people to leave a comment below will get a referral code from me. Make sure you leave a valid email address so I can email you the code.
UPDATE (7.20.11 at 5:00PM CST):
Sorry, no more Spotify codes left… Thanks for all of the replies!