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 last.fm.
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 last.fm.
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.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.