What The Hell Is Spotify?
Spotify is a all you can eat music service that you can use for free or get pay a monthly subscription to get added listening abilities. There is one free option and 2 monthly subscription options:
$Free - Listen to music on a computer with ads
$4.99/Month - Listen to music on a computer with no ads
$9.99/Month - Listen to music on any smartphone(android, iphone, or windows phone), computer, or tablet with offline capability and no ads
Is Either Paid Plan Worth It?
Yes the paid plan is worth it. While it is good to have the ability to use spotify on computer, it is not practical for my normal use. I mainly listen to music in the car or when laying in bed. So, only being to listen to spotify when using a computer is limiting for me and not really worth it. This makes the free account and $4.99/month subscription only partially beneficial because of the lack of portability. I am sure that this is no accident. Spotify is more than aware of this and it heavily influences you to get the most expensive premium subscription for $9.99/month. Spotify helps make this decision even easier by letting you download the app and use it completely free for 72 hours with no credit card required. Then they tempt you with offering the 30 days free if you put a credit card on file. Then you get used to having the service and never cancel the service. That is what happened to me. I have to give props to Spotify for reeling me in with a free service, then turning me into a paid user. I was tricked by the classic bait and switch.
Can I Share Spotify?
No, not in any real practical way. I suppose you could use some songs offline on a ipod touch or ipad, but that notion will fail the second it connects to the internet. Spotify automatically stops playback on a device if it is being used by another device.
What the Hell can I use Spotify on?
I use spotify on multiple devices from my Phone (Nexus 4) to iPad(tablet because you did not know what an iPad is), Nexus 7 (Android tablet),
Does Spotify Have Every Artist and Album?
No, Spotify does not have every song or album you are looking for. There have been a handful of artists and cds that are completely missing from Spotify; at least in my experience. Some cds are not there on the day that they launch, but eventually show up weeks or even months later. Some cds never make it to spotify because of the artist or label. Granted the music missing on Spotify is not huge chart toppers like Justin Timberlake, but they are significant bands that I would be able to find at Best Buy back in the day. Bands like As I Lay Dying, Project 86, and Periphery had cds come out in recent months and were not available on spotify at release or ever. With that said the majority of people are going to find most if not everything they are looking for.
Impact on Artists:
I am in the band Life Never Lost and we are on Spotify, so I can tell you first hand how beneficial Spotify is to the artist. Who knows what real value Spotify can bring to artists, but I can tell you that the value is not financial. We literally get less than $1.00 for every couple thousand plays on spotify. What I do not know is how many people were able to hear our music because of Spotify and would not have been able to hear us otherwise.
Experience and Interface:
I have very mixed feelings about the interface for Spotify. On one hand it is modern and refreshing. On the other hand, it does not work a lot of the time and the playlists can get overwhelming. I will breakdown different aspects in the following sections:
I have lost track of how many times I will search something and a blank page comes up. It does not freeze or act like something is not working; just white background stand there staring at me. Sometimes there are no search results, but most of the time you just have to retype the search and try a few times until you get a result. it is a random pain that happens regularly.
The playlists are the strength and weakness of Spotify in my opinion. They seem kind of odd and confusing at first because you are used to having a library of artists, songs, genres, or albums. However, Spotify does not have any of that. Instead they have playlists that you create. You have complete freedom to make a list of songs you want to group together, but that is about the extent of the organization. I am not sure if the intent was for me to still want a traditional organization so much that I consider buying songs instead of using Spotify, but that is what I felt at times. It is not very practical to keep playlists of all the music you want because it is just too many lists to scroll through on a regular basis. Then the alternative of looking for something you did not save requires you to remember the song name. Sometimes that can be difficult when consuming this much music. Spotify would be much easier to use if I could organize music saved by artist and albums. It would be even more amazing if I could shuffle all my lists. Right now there is no way to shuffle music that is not on the same playlist. Playlists have a simplicity that is attractive at first, but just takes too long to use when several are created.
Downloading Offline Music:
Downloading songs on Spotify sucks super bad. There have been too many times that I selected a playlist to download and it does not download. I of course do not realize this until I am in an area that does not have internet connection. This is the worst and makes me really angry when I look the playlist and even Spotify acknowledges that the playlist is set to be a offline downloaded playlist, yet it is 0% downloaded.
Please fix this Spotify; it is the worst.
Not to mention that the offline playlists do not actually download the files themselves, so you cannot use the music as your ringtone on your phone or any other purpose than listening on Spotify. Offline playlists are an absolute must have and I am glad that Spotify has it, but I really wish it would be implemented better.
Related Artists and Biographies:
There is some good to be talked about with the Spotify Interface. It is fairly consistent across different devices and does offer a similar artists section. I have been reminded or forgotten artists and discovered new ones because of this feature. It is also nice to read up on the artist with the Biography right next to the music you are listing to. These are great aspects of spotify
You can log into Spotify with facebook and be able to share music with friends. This becomes more useful with the more friends you ahve on Spotify; as is the case with most social integration. Also it has not bothered me with random notifications, so that is a huge plus.
What’s New/Recommended Music:
This feature is awesome in theory, but horrible executed. I feel like Spotify does not have the slightest idea of what I listen to despite me listening to countless hours of music on Spotify and being linked with my facebook. At the time of writing this, Spotify suggested: “French Montana Freaks Featuring Nicki Minaj” and it made me punch myself in the face.
I know some people like the Radio, but I have not had good experience with it. Maybe it is semantics, but the genre radio stations are useless to me. I was listening to the “hardcore” station and I skipped 20 songs not liking a single one. I think this feature is very under developed. I would take Pandora Radio over Spotify radio any day.
Experience and Interface Conclusion
So Spotify works for the most part. It has its glitches that are frustrating and can make some people not be able to use it as their primary music service because of it. It gets better once you get a feel and understanding for it, but the interface alone it not a great first impression. You tend to overlook that when you have access to all your old a new favorite songs.
Who the Hell Should Use Spotify:
If you just pirate music, then I would suggest getting Spotify. Iot takes a lot less time, is not illegal, it is convenient, and usable with all your devices. It also benefits artists; a little more than pirating.
I have been using spotify consistently for about ten months at the time of this review. I cannot fight the fact that I have used Spotify consistently for the entire ten months I have had it. I have discovered more music than I ever would have otherwise. I have listened to music that I would never would have otherwise. Now there is no reason to not listen to a song because of time, money, genre, or just convenience. You are free to explore at no expense to you.
I guess I like it so much that I find myself using spotify no matter how much I may not want to. I miss getting excited and going to Best Buy to buy a CD on release day. I miss holding and having artwork with lyrics and reading them while listening. I wish cds were faster at changing with the times and included digital downloads with physical copies like blurays currently do. I hate that I have not bought or listened to multiple cds because of spotify. Now I am paying ten bucks a month for a music that I do not own. Spotify is only useful if I pay for it every month. I will be left with nothing if I ever cancel the subscription. With all that said I am still using Spotify even as I write this. I will conclude with this realization:
Technological convenience will always conquer over quality and nostalgia.
By J.S. Marler
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