Spotify: A Review

Spotify LogoImage by Dekuwa via Flickr

Many online music players have become available in the last few years, including popular sites such as Pandora and I Heart Radio. With the rise of social-networking sites, some players have been developed for the purpose of listening to and sharing music on these sites. Spotify is one of the leaders of the social-network music players, and it deserves its place near the top.

How it Works

New users must install the player on their personal computers when they sign up. After that, users can sign in through Facebook or through any computer. Your personal music library will be available through the app when you sign in through your home computer, but you’ll be limited to Spotify’s library if you sign in elsewhere. However, Spotify’s library includes over 15 million tracks, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding what you want. The free membership option includes 20 hours of streaming music, but you’ll have to pay $4.99 a month if you want to get unlimited music and hear it without advertising. For $9.99 a month, you also get access to an offline mode, mobile access, and exclusive content.

The Pros

Spotify offers an easy way to listen to free music without resorting to illegally downloading it. The service is also a great way to share your musical interests with friends through Facebook or Twitter, which can also help you to discover new music. There are a variety of features, which allow you to organize your music and to discover new favorites. For example, you can create playlists of your favorite artists, find new music by clicking on “related artists” or by browsing “artist radio” channels, and learn about your favorite musicians with biographies. You can also find new music by browsing songs according to their popularity. Searching is easy, and you can find music by artist, song, or album.

The Cons

There are few drawbacks to the service, and those that exist are based more on personal preferences rather than actual problems with the service. For example, though you can connect with friends to share musical tastes and to learn about new music, you can only search for friends through your Facebook connections. You can’t browse user profiles on the site. The interface is easy to use and looks quite similar to the iTunes music library interface. The drawback is that it is quite text heavy and does not use many images, such as large logos, album covers, or artist photos. Those who are looking for an intuitive way to discover new artists may be a bit disappointed by the lack of features.

Overall, Spotify is a great service with a wide variety of free, streaming music available. I was able to find all the artists I could think of, even some that were a bit obscure. There were soundtracks and karaoke versions of music, as well. Though the basic service only offers basic features, you can listen to the music you want to hear and share it easily on Facebook or Twitter. The drawbacks of the service are minimal, and users will find a lot of great benefits in the service.

About the author

Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on scholarships and grants for women and federal grants for graduate students.

4 Comments on Spotify: A Review

  1. Hi Chase .. thanks for posting Amanda's review .. I knew about Spotify – but not much more.

    Interesting to know the different options .. free with ads, unlimited with ads, or pay extra and no ads & the extra accesses ..

    Thanks – good to have some concept – cheers Hilary

  2. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for approaching me to write a guest post. It's nice to discover new websites, but I don't know if I'm sold on this one.

    Hi Hilary,

    I hadn't heard of Spotify prior to Amanda asking me to write a guest post. When she offered to do a review of the website, I thought, "Okay, I'll learn something too."

    I'm not sure I like the idea of music subscription sites. I have a lot of questions . . . like how do the artists get paid? where does the subscription fee money go?

    It's something to look into anyway.

    Cheers!

  3. Hi Chase .. I'm not sure if this article by Seth is a logical follow – in a 'funny way' .. throwing light on pricing .. but it came out today – and I immediately thought it tied in –

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/01/the-pricing-formula-ss.html

    If yes = fine! .. if not = no worries!

    Cheers Hilary

  4. Hi Hilary,

    Thanks for sending me that link. I've often wondered about pricing and I don't read Seth's blog that regularly. It was an interesting read.

    Thanks!

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