Today marked the launch of the Spotify streaming music service in the US. The service is a very interesting offering and what many people will be interested in is the free service. As of now, the free service is by invitation only. I spent a bit of time playing around with the free service today and came way impressed by what the service has to offer. It reminds me a lot of the Rhapsody streaming service I used in the past with tons of music inside.
The main difference is that the Spotify service is free and I can’t download the tracks to a MP3 player or stream them on the go. The free service will work only on a Mac or PC. If you want to be able to stream music while you are on the go, you will need to upgrade to the paid premium service. Right now, there are apps for the iPhone and for Android devices available. The cool part about the streaming service on your smartphones that you can plug it into the aux port on your car stereo and have your own streaming radio station to listen to as long as you have a web connection.
I used the Windows computer application in my testing and really like it. The app is very easy to use; it reminds me a lot of how iTunes works. You can right click on the tracks to get different options for sharing with friends on the service, to Facebook, or to put the track in a play list among other things. The tracks are all in their entirety, not just a few seconds worth of the track to get you hooked into upgrading to a paid version.
The music is clear and sounds just like a digital track you would buy at iTunes to my ears. This might be the perfect service for a person that drives a lot or that spends time at a gym where they want music to exercise to if you upgrade. I was very impressed with the breadth of music the service offers. It is missing some of my favorite bands like The Eagles and AC/DC, but I have yet to find a digital service that offers tracks from those two groups. It did have all my 90's rock bands like Creed and Alice in Chains among others. It even had tracks from more obscure bands like Kyuss.
For those of you that like current music and pop, you can get what appears to be any track currently playing on the radio no matter the genre. There is every hip-hop and pop track that my kids like to hear on the radio listed on the What's New page. In all this is an awesome service, with tons of music and high quality playback. The music was perfect and never skipped or stuttered even with my slow internet connection. I love the service so far and if I were out of the house much, I would surely get the paid version to be able to listen in the car. If you work at a computer and want to listen to music this is an excellent choice.