July 15, 2011
Spotify finally came the US of A yesterday and I was able to snag an invite.
For those who don't know, Spotify is a "cloud based" music server that functions as competition to iTunes (as it indexes all of your hard drive music files and works as a player). The difference is that you can also stream virtually any music that you don't own as well! Unlike Pandora, which works to "recommend" music based on your preferences, you can actually search for bands and play whatever you want.
For example, I have a couple of the three million or so Guided By Voices lps on my hard drive. When I plug in "Guided By Voices" in the search field on Spotify, I can stream many of their albums, plus compilations and the service recommends "like" artists such as The Replacements, Built To Spill, Dinosaur JR, etc.
Their are levels of service that you can pay for, but I am finding the "free" service just fine. I haven't figured out if you can actually download and save the songs (like on Napster), but this entire concept removes the need to "own" the music.
Additionally, you can make playlists, post them and others can share your lists- so we are all now our own personal radio stations. It links into all the "social" networking sites as well.
Is this the "game changer"? It just might be. I assume at some point Spotify will remove the free option, but for now it's free.
And it's awesome.