Spotify…keeping the silence out of mind…

Out of all the things I run whilst I’m on the internet, this one gets the most use. Essentially it’s a music player that has access to millions of tracks, all potentially for free.

The free service does have a few drawbacks – main one being that you get the occasional advert between tracks, but it’s a lot better than commercial radio in terms of frequency. Ads are few and far between and to be honest I don’t even notice them anymore – if I go back to the commerical radio reference, I can’t remember the last time that the radio in my car tuned into one, and there wasn’t an advert playing at the time. Spotify Free (the invite version of free), has around a 90% music, 10% advert split for me – that said apparently it also depends on what you listen to.

There is a free version that doesn’t need an invitation (Spotify Open), but it caps your streaming to 20 hours a month. If you can still get it, and have a friend with invites availible, I suggest you go for spotify free. There is no cap.

You can find entire CD’s to listen to – meaning you can try before you buy, without the more paranoid among us worrying that the RIAA are going to sue for piracy. The amount of people I know that have bought a CD based on a few tracks, and then found they’ve shelled out for 3 good tracks, and 10 tracks of dross is unsuprisingly high.

You can also connect it to Facebook, after which you can see the public playlists that your friends have made availible, which comes in handy – especially when you want to recommend a song or artist to another person. Apparently you can do this without Facebook, but it’s not something I’ve bothered to do.

One other perk is that the interface if friendly and easy to get to grips with. If you’ve used iTunes, you can see where some of the inspiration has come from, but it’s a fresh take on a old trick.

That said, there are paid for versions that I’m told are excellent – they allow compatibility with certain smartphones for music on the move, offline mode where you cache some of your tunes and other bonuses. I’ve not taken the plunge in this because I’m a cheapskate – which is pretty much my only excuse.

So that’s a very brief look at Spotify for you. It probably doesn’t cover half the basics, but then again this post was thrown together in about ten minutes 🙂

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