Established in 2008, but only recently available to U.S. customers, Spotify is one of
the newest online music streaming services. It’s compatible with a good deal of the current
electronic market, including most mobile phone services, PC and Mac. Spotify has some
extremely intriguing features such as a searchable music catalogue of 15 million songs, a playlist
maker that allows you to share your favorite songs with your friends and even do collaborative
editing of which songs are in the list, and compatibility with last.fm, where you can upload your
favorite songs and last.fm makes recommendations as to what other artists you might like.
Spotify also includes a radio service that plays random songs in a selected genre
or musical era. This feature is similar to Pandora but unfortunately less customizable than
Pandora because of Spotify’s inability to rate songs. However, Spotify’s radio service includes
biographical information of the artists being played and allows users to skip as many songs as
they so choose.
There are three types of subscriptions: Open, Unlimited, and Premium. Open does not
have monthly fees and has a limited amount of music listening time per month (about 20 hours).
Open also has advertisements that interrupt your music.
Unlimited and Premium are $4.99 and $9.99 per month, respectively, and each allow
users an unlimited amount of listening time per month. Premium users gain access to their
premium services, which include Offline mode, mobile device support, enhanced sound quality,
and exclusive content. All these features would seem to mark Spotify as a major player in the
online music player scene, provided you are willing to shell out $9.95 a month.