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Spotify: What is It, Why Should I Use It, and How Do I Get In?

Spotify: What is It, Why Should I Use It, and How Do I Get In?

With the Sweden-based on-demand music streaming service finally coming to the US it’s worth revisiting the “award winning service” to see what sets it apart form the others.

It’s been about a week now since Spotify hopped acrosss the Pond and landed on US shores. The Swedish DRM-based music streaming service has been all the rage in Europe for a few years now thanks to less restricitve music licensing regimes, and less apprehension on the part of music labels worried about diluting album purchases with free, ad-supported content.

Those worries were assuaged in the US with $100 million worth of funding guaranatess to finance the costs of streaming copyrighted music regardless of whether or not Spotify turns a profit.

What is Spotify exactly?

Spotify is the first FREE, ON-DEMAND music streaming service with over 15 million tracks to choose from.

“Think of Spotify as your new music collection,” Sptify tells users. “Your library. Only this time your collection is vast: over 15 million tracks and counting.”

What’s so special about it?

Unlike Last.fm or Pandora which only allow you to stream genres of music, Spotify lets you pick and choose whatever song you want without having to pay a dime.

The only catch with the free version is that is that it’s ad-supported and you have to put up with ads in the program browser. It also doesn’t allow streaming to portable devices.

Here are the three different Spotify packages:

  • Spotify Free â€” the unsurpassed free music service. With an invite, enjoy on-demand, buffer-free access to over 15 million songs on your computer and great social features. Manage your own music files through Spotify, and sync with your cellphone or iPod. Features occasional advertising.
  • Spotify Unlimited â€” all the special features of our free service, but with uninterrupted, ad-free access to Spotify on your computer. All for only $4.99 a month.
  • Spotify Premium – the top-of-the-range Spotify experience. Premium gives you access to all the music, all the time. Listen online or offline, on your computer, your cellphone and a whole heap of other devices. Enjoy enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions and special offers. Premium costs just $9.99 a month. (That’s the equivalent of a couple of fancy coffees.)
Another interesting feature is Spotify’s social networking integration with services like Twitter and Facebook.
Spotify uses Facebook to find other friends who are using Spotify, giving you access to any playlists that they have created and made “public.” Users can also make public a list of their favorite tracks and artists.

So How Do I Get In?

The service is currently in beta and you have to be invited to check out the service, but NIN frontman Trent Reznor has made his celebrity trove of invites available to the public. As of press time they were still available.

STay tuned.

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