I like music, I have to admit that. Recently I realized that I really don’t listen that much to the lyrics, with some artists it’s virtually impossible to understand what the hell they are rambling on about anyway. I’m more interested in how the voice of the lead singer sounds and for some reason drums and percussion tends to fascinate me. But I guess it’s with music as any other art form, people like it for different reasons.
Even though I listen to a lot of different music, I don’t have that many CDs; it’s been a while since I made the move from CDs from downloads. iTunes and torrents are to blame for that. For a while I downloaded pirated version of the album and then bought the CD online. Yes, I downloaded pirated music, but I also bought the CD. Probably not entirely legal, but I feel I’m in the clear. Because of this I’ve got quite a lot of CDs that I’ve never actually taken out of the cover.
Then I started to buy all my music as digital downloads and now it’s time to take the next step in the digital music evolution: Spotify Premium.
You’ve probably heard about Spotify, and it’s also a good chance you’re using it even if it’s still in a closed beta for most users. But if you’re not familiar with the application, here’s a very short summary: Spotify let’s you stream music from their vast music collection to your computer and mobile phone (if you have an Android phone or an iPhone).
The basic idea isn’t new, you’ve been able to stream music on the internet to computers and mobile phones for years, but the sources have mostly been radio stations with music that some DJ has already put together in a playlist for you. With Spotify you have access to the largest music collection you’ll ever see and with offline mode you can store up to 3333 tracks locally and listen to them even without an internet connection.
What pushed me over the edge from the ad-supported version to the USD 14 a month premium version were mainly three things:
The in-between-tracks commercials. Let’s face it, they have become intrusive up to a point where you really want to get rid of them, but not by not using Spotify.
Access to the mobile phone client, which is only available if you have a premium account. I just ditched my iPhone in favor of an HTC Hero running Android and the phone supports both the Spotify mobile client and proper multitasking. Hey, Apple, creating a handset that doesn’t allow multitasking is a god damn design error.
Offline mode. I don’t have a flat fee data plan on my mobile phone subscription so offline mode on the mobile client is just pure genius: It basically eliminates my need for iTunes. Even though there is a limit of 3333 offline tracks, that’s more tracks than my current iTunes library.
I’ve only been a Spotify Premium user for about half an hour or so, but I already love it. Right now I’m listening to an excellent Sarah McLachlan live album, “Mirrorball", in offline mode on my HTC Hero and the sound quality is just great.
I got two Spotify invites to with my Premium account, so if you’re not yet a Spotify user and want to try it out, drop a comment with your e-mail address and I’ll send you an invite.
Update: Both invites are now handed out, but I’ll get two new next month.