Spotify - The Latest Future Of Music

22 January 2009

As the music industry scratches its head and continues to search for a way of monetising the tunes that most people are freely nicking, a newish way of getting your melodic kicks has appeared.

Imagine having the world’s biggest iTunes playlist at your disposal – that’s what you get with Spotify. The choice of millions of tracks streamed straight to your computer with no worrying about your hard drive bursting with an overload of mp3s.

There’s a subscription option as well as a free version with ads (every 20-25 minutes they reckon.) Membership is normally by invitation only, but there’s a limited number of non-invite sign-ups here at the moment. We set up an account earlier and within seconds we had the chance to listen to U2’s new single. But it’s not all bad news.

We flitted from the Happy Mondays’ execrable cover of Stayin’ Alive to Peter Sellers’ unique take on She Loves You. Then it was Roxy Music’s Virginia Plain, the DFA remix of M.I.A’s Paper Planes and the French language version of Can’t Speak French by Girls Aloud (unfeasibly sexy if you've never heard it.)

There’s a few major holes in the catalogue – no Beatles or Pink Floyd and the focus seems to be more on back-catalogue stuff over newer releases, but at the end of the day it’s your own speech-free radio station where you control the playlist and you have to listen to one ad every 25 minutes or so. That, people, is A Good Thing.

TOPICS:   Cool Stuff   Freebies   Technology

19 comments

  • Mike H.
    No PF? What kind of music site is this?! No Beatles? Not bothered by that, one of the biggest overrated, hyped bandwagon bands ever, and as for my HDD being full of MP3's? It ain't full of MP3's if you know what I mean, wink wink say no more!
  • Rick H.
    Been using it for a week or two now, it's so freeing being able to think up a song and (usually) listen to it straight away, definitely a step in the right direction. Creating collaborative shared playlists with friends is also very cool. Little note tho - they dont make a big point of the fact it uses Peer-to-Peer to manage scaling/bandwidth from their servers, so while you have the program running it'll sometimes be using a bit of your bandwidth. So far it's been not too bad - prob up to 100Mb of upload a day (some days it uses very little), and so far has always been less upload bandwidth than what i've downloaded..... Still, we're keeping an eye on it at work to make sure its not as bad as the old channel4 on-demand app that freaked us out when we saw the monthly bandwidth report from our office-space provider!
  • Mike S.
    I've been using the service for a month and a bit now and I don't think I can ever go back! Here is my current favourite song playlist. http://open.spotify.com/user/boffy/playlist/1VgyjnyR263XAtl6lYG4Xt That sharing is the killer feature of this product in my opinion, well, besides the free music!
  • Paul B.
    last.fm has been doing this for a lot longer and is ad-free. Also you can get plugins that add songs you've played in Itunes/Ipod to your last.fm playlist. And they have the Beatles and Floyd.
  • Paul B.
    Actually they don't have the Beatles and Floyd, they just have a profile listing. My mistake. But last fm is still better. Carry on!
  • Benjimoron
    Isn't this the same as you can do with youtube anyway? Then you've got the vids if you want them and no ads.
  • Alex T.
    Awesome find dude, well done!
  • Liddle m.
    Very nice. Been using it now since you put the link up and I like it a lot. Anybody else have some good playlists to link to? ( Thanks Mike Smith )
  • Andy D.
    @Paul Barrett - I find that there's a lot of annoying gaps in the last FM archive, along with too many tracks that just have 30 second snippets. I'm far less annoyed by Spotify so far, although we'll see how it pans out in terms of ad frequency. @Benjimoron - very very different indeed from YouTube. Millions of tracks and full albums that can easily be played in the correct order on Spotify. Suck it and see!
  • MBeeching
    Quite good, I was surprised there was support for OSX and the interface is nice enough. However the track selections i'm getting aren't entirely suitable for the office, plus as soon as an advert appears you realise how much you hate them, lol. Fear not colleagues, DJ Matt and his trusty iPod will be returning after these messages.
  • Mark
    That 99p option may come in handy for my next party. Can't see many people going for the £9.99 option - Napster's £9.99 service didn't use P2P or require a net connection to play and even that never took off. Alas, if I use P2P on this university connection I'll attract everyone and their dog uploading and I'll finish up with a sizeable bandwidth bill.
  • HotUKDeals B.
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  • Paul Nikkel EDITOR
    Yeah it's great for a party b/c you can dig up most tracks instantly which is hard to do even if you have a huge library (there's always stuff you don't have). @MBeeching - it groups the same track together if it finds multiples so if you're looking for a particular version hit the arrow icon and it will show the other versions. RE ads - yeah it's annoying but at least it's less than the radio!
  • Alistair
    Fantastic to listen to at work all day. Just a pity Tiscali are blocking P2P traffic in the evenings at home... Grrrr
  • JohnCrapp
    @Alistair - forget Tiscali - one of the worst providers out there! Go for o2......
  • Benjimoron
    Giving it a go, first 5 albums searched for don't exist! 6th has turned up a few results tho, I bet there are loads of these songs available on youtube and you can create playlists etc there too.
  • HotUKDeals B.
    [...] their most recognisable tracks, Hoppipolla. If you can’t wait till the weekend, get your hands on Spotify and stream yourself a sizey dose of more Sigur Ros. (deal found by [...]
  • Robert
    Spotify is a pile of cr*p!! Cover songs posing as originals, and no customer service to speak of. They've also admitted to being hacked and had user data stolen.
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    [...] a new online music service is heralded as “a really big deal“ at launch, we usually tend to notice - even in our dungeon of an office here at Bitterwallet. So when we receive an email about the Next [...]

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