If you haven’t heard of Spotify then you must have been intentionally avoiding any news stories and conversations about music, the cloud, and the internet in general, because it’s kind of a big deal.
Spotify has been available in Europe for years as a way to listen to music for free as long as you agree to listen to commercials. For as long as it has existed there have rumors about Spotify coming to the United States, but until now it’s been nothing but that, a rumor.
But somehow the rights have been aquired and Spotify has launched in the United States. Right now free accounts are still mostly invitation only, but if you don’t have any friends with Spotify there’s still hope. We got Spotify by going through Klout. Spotify is being smart about dishing out invitations, if you’re considered a half-influential user on Twitter or Facebook on Klout you can get access to a free Spotify account.
But how is Spotify? I have to tell you, I think it’s freaking awesome. While they don’t have every record under the sun (even indies seem to have opted to pull their more popular titles) they do have a TON of music. If you connect Spotify to your Facebook you can trade tracks with your friends, make and subscribe to playlists.
The free version does have its downsides though – the commercials are pretty frequent and though they sometimes promote music you might actually want to listen to, they’re more likely to promote Mountain Dew. Also, there are limits on how much music you can listen to, so if you’re expecting to jam to Spotify all day at work then you’ll probably want to upgrade to the $5 a month version. Hey, that’s still cheaper than a CD.
Spotify is pretty cool, but I don’t know if it’s the best music subscription service out there (our very own Matt much prefers Rdio), but it’s free and it certainly has a lot of music for everyone there. I think I still prefer having CDs and owning at least a good portion of my music, but if I don’t have to bring CDs to work to listen to them there, then I think that I’m going to get a whole lot of good use out of Spotify.