Wednesday, March 23, 2016


I own a lot of music that I've accumulated over the years via cassette, CD, and digital download. When Spotify first launched in the US, I wasn't very interested since I wasn't looking for more music. But recently I was looking into some new (to me) artists, and decided to give the streaming service a try.
This started after I went to the Nightwish concert a few weeks ago, and wanted to hear more from Delain (one of the opening acts). I bought a couple of their albums from Google Play Music, liked what I heard, and was considering getting more when I thought of Spotify. Pretty much all of Delain's stuff is available there, so I decided to give it a try.

To begin, I just downloaded the Windows Spotify client without subscribing. You get advertisements after every few songs, but otherwise there's not much difference between the free and subscription version when listening on your PC. I could still access any song that I found, and play other people's playlists.

I also tried out the Android app for my phone, and Fire TV app for my media center. The Fire TV app is pretty bad, honestly, if you try to use it directly. Poor user interface and very limited features. However, you can link it to your phone (or PC) to control what is playing on the Fire TV, which is much easier to use. For the phone, there's the ability to download songs for play while offline, but only if you're a subscriber.

The selection of music is pretty massive on Spotify. Not everything is available - I've run across both missing artists and albums - but there's plenty out there. You can use the "radio" function to get a selection of music similar to a song/artist (similar to something like Pandora), but also play specific songs or entire albums (unlike Pandora). And people can build playlists to share, which is one of my favorite features. I've found several that were built by people with similar musical tastes.

Thanks in large part to those playlists, I've already found a good number of interesting artists that I'd never run across before. I've also found some that I haven't listened to in years (like Die Happy and Devlierance). Used to have all their stuff on cassettes, but never re-acquired it in the digital world. Nice to have it easily accessible again.

Between the offline music feature and the lack of ads, I think the $10/month is worthwhile for a Spotify subscription. For a while, at least. It's nice to have an easy way to discover and enjoy different music, and once you've found it, be able to listen to it on demand.

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