iTunes has become a major player in the music industry as it made buying music easy. Instead of walking in to down and purchasing a CD, or even ordering from an online store, you simply select the album, click purchase and it’s downloaded to your computer. What possibly could be better or easier than this system?
What if we told you there was a way of listening and streaming the same tracks, for free, without moving away from your computer? If you have a fast broadband account, streaming high quality audio from the Internet is a distinct possibility. Streaming high-quality video is another matter entirely.
Spotify is the latest Internet sensation. It enables you to setup a free account, download the player to your system, then select the tracks you want to hear. You can setup a play queue with your favourite tracks, so you don’t have to individually select a track every time you want to hear some music. You can listen to online Internet-based radio, too, through your Spotify player.
As you can imagine, there’s a Premium option, too. At $9.99/£9.99 you don’t get any adverts in your Spotify player, far higher quality audio (320Kbps) and various member-only exclusives.
The downside for us is that you can’t stream your Spotify tracks to your wireless devices, which you can do through iTunes and Airport Express. If you use a commercial third-party tool such as Airfoil, you can override this. You can’t use Spotify to manage or sync audio to your iPhone, iPod or other mobile device, either.
US users, Spotify is finally available in your territory as from 14 July 2011.