When it comes to music streaming services that you subscribe to, Spotify is without doubt one of the popular services on today's Internet.
The service is available for a variety of platforms, including desktop computers, the mobile platforms iOS and Android, and also as as web-based version.
The company behind Spotify made an announcement recently that introduced a free version of the service for mobile devices and tablets.
This new version provides unlimited (meaning no time limit) access to music on Spotify if you are using a tablet or mobile for the connection and are a free user of the service.
While you can only experience shuffle play this way, it effectively means free access to Spotify's vast database of music.
What Spotify did not mention in the announcement, or anywhere else on the official website, is that it also removed the 10 hour limit for free Spotify accounts.
The free accounts were limited to 10 hours of ad-interrupted playback in the past. Apparently, that is a thing of the past, so that desktop and web users can listen to Spotify for as long as they want, even if they use a free account and not one of the premium accounts.
There is no official confirmation for that, but you find positive responses to that on the official forum, and if you browse the Terms of Service, you will also notice that a time limit is not mentioned here anymore.
So how do the free mobile, free desktop and premium version of Spotify differ from each other?
If you are using a free account on a mobile device, you get access to shuffle play any playlist or artist catalog, and to create your own playlists.
Desktop and tablet users get the same experience, and on top of that, an option to play any song on-demand.
Premium account owners get all of those features, plus access to the highest quality audio, an ad-free listening environment, and options to download music for offline listening.
And Spotify Unlimited users? Those users get the same experience as desktop users it semms, but with uninterrupted playback added so that they can listen to music that is not interrupted by advertisement.
Free users will certainly appreciate the removal of the time limit, while premium users will have one of the features that set their accounts apart from free accounts taken away from them.
It is likely that at least some paying users of the service have only upgraded their accounts to premium for the ability to listen to Spotify music for as long as they like.
Why did Spotify make the change? It is likely that the company is trying to increase the user count of the service this way.
Are you using Spotify or another music streaming service? What's your take on this?