Spotify was all the rage overseas, and this year, it finally came to America. At first, it was an invite-only service, but now it is open to the public, and mostly free. Spotify is a really great service that allows you to not only choose the music you want to stream to your computer, but also to make playlists and share music with your friends. Its streamlined integration with Facebook makes social networking with your music even easier.
What is Spotify?
Spotify is an Internet-based music streaming service that allows you to choose what music you want to listen to, when you want to listen to it. The service is free for anyone who wants to download it, and most anything you would want to listen to is available. To be sure, there are some tracks and albums that are unavailable due to restrictions from the music labels, but you will be hard pressed to find something you want to hear that isn't available for streaming. Once you find what you want to listen to, playing it is as simple as a double click on the album or track title.
Spotify also offers biographies of artists within the artist profile, as well as a list of related artists to continue your musical journey. Spotify also offers Artist Radio, which is very similar to Pandora Radio, another free, Internet-based music service that picks music for you based on your interests and choices. The final difference between Spotify and other music services is that, while it is Internet-based, it requires you to download Spotify software to your computer. This opens up a player similar to iTunes, that is much easier to use than an Internet site.
What Makes Spotify Different From Other Music Sites?
Spotify is different from other music sites like Last.fm and Pandora in that it allows you to choose whatever music you want to listen to, and you can listen to it for free. With sites like Pandora, you create a radio station and "like" or "dislike" certain tracks so the program knows your preferences and can pick music you'll want to hear. With Spotify, you can listen to an entire album or just mix up some tracks you love into a playlist and listen to whenever you want.
Spotify and Facebook
Along with the novelty of choice over what you listen to, Spotify is heavily integrated with Facebook. Your Facebook timeline will update automatically every time you listen to a track, and your friends can click on the track name, which will take them to their Spotify account and allow them to listen along with you. Similarly, you can check out what your friends are listening to and discover some awesome new music through the people you know the best. If you are listening to something really great and want to share it along with a comment, you can do that, too. Post links to your favorite tracks on Twitter and Facebook, along with your comments and recommendations.
Spotify also allows you to create playlists, just like iTunes. Create a playlist, title it, then find the songs you want to add. You can do this by searching for songs, artists, or albums. Just drag your song to your playlist, and then drag them around within the playlist to adjust the order. If you make your playlists public, your friends can see them, too, just by clicking on your name in their sidebar. Importing playlists you've already created from your iTunes account is as easy as 1-2-3. When you download the software, your iTunes' playlists will import automatically. You can also do it manually by going to the File menu and selecting Import Playlists.