Spotify: Music legally on demand

Feb 21, 2009
Updated • Dec 4, 2012
Music, Music and Video

gHacks suggested Spotify as an alternative to Pandora last year, and Spotify has recently gained a lot of attention in the British press. I thought it may be wise to discuss Spotify on here.

Spotify is a service which allows users to stream many songs online free and legally. The service is ad-supported and currently available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. The adverts are only a minor annoyance; I find there is about 2 minutes of them per hour of music. A premium service is also available, where adverts can be removed for a cost.

The service requires a desktop client to play the music. Their client is currently only available on OS X and Windows. Using this software, users can search for music, compile playlists and listen to online radio. The music is streamed as an Ogg Vorbis at 160kbps, so it is very high quality! It also scrobbles the music to

The advertising is tolerable. Generally, they last about 30-45 seconds and either advertise Spotify Premium or, currently, the Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK. Premium (ad-free) Spotify costs either 99p a day or £10 a month.

I am beginning to reconsider if I still have the need to download music. Most songs are available free on Spotify, with the exception of some of the newest releases on certain labels. My only problem with Spotify is that it isn't portable, so I can't use it on my iPod etc.

Spotify has a bigger collection of music than the 'full tracks' available on

It is currently only invitation only, but I will give the first 4 people to ask an invite each. Just leave a comment asking for one.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Frankie said on September 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Hi, I would love an invite if i could please? :)

  2. Marekatt said on July 25, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Could someone send me an invite please? (It’s for my friend, I’m just doing the dirty work for him).

  3. Transcontinental said on May 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    jas > Every downloaded bit counts as downloading. But Spotify enables a sizable cache on your local drive (default is 10% of disk space), so what has been downloaded, if cache not exceeded, is not downloaded twice.

  4. jas said on May 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Question; want to know if spotify counts as downloading?is this the catch.somthing for nothing in this world would be nice. it would be ok if you have unlimited broadband,but in my case i have limited access,and i have to pay extra if it is over :( ??????????????

  5. Grand Slam Paul said on March 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Spotify is great – using it all the time. Does anyone know if streaming music in this way will count against my download cap per my broadband contract or not. Friends have given me mixed messages. If it does I could be hit with a big bill as I have it on all the time!!??

  6. Transcontinental said on March 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    ingrid > I’m sending you one of my last invitations right now … welcome to the club and please enjoy :)
    OK, you guys, I know, but what can I say? I love that name, Ingrid sounds sooo nice :)

    Edit : Hmmm : ingrid’s email appears to be already registered to a Spotify account. Darn!

  7. ingrid said on March 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    i need an invitation please, can anybody help me, thanks, ingrid.

  8. Transcontinental said on March 3, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    EDIT : Martin’s comments, not Marin’s …

  9. Transcontinental said on March 3, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I’m listening music right now with Spotify, and I remember having read at the time Marin’s comments, “[…]I am beginning to reconsider if I still have the need to download music.[…]”

    Indeed, and that leads me to the question of usufruct compared to possession : do I appreciate more a music because I have it on my hard disk, or on a cd or dvd, than if I listen to it, streamed but not “owned” ? Would I prefer possessing an old car or having the only usufruct of a Ferrari?

    I think the concept of Spotify is getting me to wonder on the very nature of enjoyment, that of pleasure without possession. Perhaps a slightly naive way of expressing it, moreover English not being my mother-tongue.

  10. SalveMundi said on February 25, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Well, I hope anybody can invite me, I signed up but I haven’t get any, if you could please refer me.

    email: abraxas at kuvico dot com

    Thanks in advance

  11. deano fabaza said on February 22, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Been trying it out for an hour odd now and got to say its really nice. Great interface and excellent quality sound. Thanks again gHacks!

  12. dwarf_toss said on February 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Had this in the states for all of a week before they realized I’m not a brit. What use I did get was nice, it’s pretty cool. No Metallica to be found on it at all though (their new “openness” be damned), which I found to be pretty funny.

    Signed up via proxy and invited some friends. That party didn’t last long, lol.

  13. B. Moore said on February 22, 2009 at 8:21 am

    as usual im always late :( if anyone gets any more invites to give out i would love to have one :) thanks

    digideth at

  14. T.J. Mininday said on February 22, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I like the interface. Looks like a possible alternative to Pandora, but doubt it can replace the amazing product.

  15. Garry said on February 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Invite please… I’m always interested in great music sites. thank you.

  16. Joe said on February 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I have one invite left.

    So, next commenter asking for one gets one.

    If I’ve missed anyone off who has commented above asking for one, email me at computerjoe (at) and we’ll sort that out.

    But anyone else please just comment here, and only the next commenter will get one off me but you might be able to beg off others!

  17. yooman said on February 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I would like an invitation!

  18. Emmanuel said on February 21, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I’m probably late too, but just in case some has and invitation please invvite me!!

  19. Transcontinental said on February 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    paccer >I think it’s rather up to you to mail :)

  20. paccer said on February 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Aww… i’m probably too late… I’d really like an invite.. if anyone else gets one – please share :)

    email: spotify at paccer dot dk

  21. FeR said on February 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    You can register here without invitation:

  22. Transcontinental said on February 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Spotify FAQ ( :

    “What countries is Spotify available in?
    We’ve released our free advertising supported version in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. In most other countries Spotify Premium is available for purchase.”

  23. camdef said on February 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I’d like one too, thank you

  24. Transcontinental said on February 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    It’s a fantastic music hall! I’ve got 7 invitations left. You can contact me at :
    verbatim AT snugmail DOT com

  25. olivia said on February 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    can I have an invite please?:)

  26. Fran said on February 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I can send invitation too

  27. jegor said on February 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    i would love to try it but i am outside the supported zone.

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