I always loved the idea of last.fm, oink and similar services that essentially allow you to discover new music and listen to lots of your favorites. The only problem is that last.fm mostly only gives you samples and they’ve shut down most of the music torrent trackers. On top of that, Slovenia still doesn’t have iTunes, so no legal music buying without actually going into physical store (how 60’s is that).
But fear not, there’s always a startup somewhere, that wants to solve such problems. This weeks savior is Spotify, Swedish company that will actually sell you full access to their music for 10â‚¬ /month, 1â‚¬ /day or free with ads in certain countries.
In Slovenia, only monthly passes are available, but I figured out that I’m willing to bet 10â‚¬ on getting lots of music, it’s less then one CD anyway. Purchasing with credit-card was simple enough, even though I missed paypal option as this would further help with my impulse buy.
They have a client for Windows and Mac and I went for later. The feel is very similar to iTunes, with extra bonus that almost all the music is there automatically. You just type a keyword in search box, or browse through popular music selection and you can instantly start listening.
Here’s how the interface looks:
What’s best about it, is the fact that it actually allows you freely browse and discover new artisits. Everything in the interface is done with the mind to quickly get you to the best or at least most popular music. Lets say you go to Ting Tings artist view, there you can quickly find similar artists or just listen to their top hits.
But Spotify goes even one step further and also shows you the songs in different compilations, giving you another chance to click to one song left or right and discover a new artist once again.
Overall, I must say I’m moderately happy with the service, given that it has about 80% of the things I’m looking for. They’re mostly missing big European artists like Alizee and of course, no Slovenian or Balkan artists.
For the future, I’d be very interested to pay them even more money and let them them effortlessly transfer all these songs to my iPod or local cache, so I can go around the world without the Internet. But for now, it’s going to be a great service to discover and see if I like certain artists before I use alternative means of acquiring music.
Give it a go, 10â‚¬ a month is cheap enough for access to this much music with such a great application. Interface itself has problems, but I’ll keep this for another post when I actually get annoyed enough with it to care.