Spotify US
Spotify – Now available in the US!

I still owe you a post on Amazon Cloud Drive, but it can wait. Spotify is in the US now, previously only in the UK and Europe. What is Spotify? Yeah, it’s another music streaming service. But this one is a bit different than the others. I told you about Google Music. That’s a music locker that uses your own music to upload to the cloud. Spotify is a combo streaming service. It syncs your music to mobile devices AND allows you to play music you don’t own over the internet. For free, or you can expand your options and pay a monthly subscription. Interested yet? Let me show you how this works.

Playing an album

First off, once you are signed up, you need to download the app for your Windows or Mac computer. Once you have that, install it and login. Above is what the main app window looks like when you are playing an album. The left bar is all sorts of different options like syncing your iTunes library, checking what’s new and to see what devices are connected to your Spotify account.

The free version is ad supported, like banner ads. And also when you are listening, ads will play in between every few songs. Like listening to a radio station. To get rid of the ads, you can sign up for a monthly service for as low as $4.99/mo.

palm pre sync
Palm Pre mobile syncing with desktop app

Have a mobile device? There’s apps for webOS (Palm Pre), Android and iPhone. I installed the iPhone and the webOS apps. For my Palm Pre, I can sync all local songs that I have on my iTunes, but any streaming from music that is on Spotify, I need to sign up for a paid account. Same with the iPhone. Sync local, but streaming live needs a subscription.

And speaking of syncing local, by signing up for a Premium account for $9.99/mo. you can have any of the songs you would stream on the free Spotify synced local to your computer or mobile device. All playable, so long as you keep that subscription going. Think of it as paying a licensing fee to play music.

My Thoughts

So far, I like it. I’ve been able to listen to a good 20 or so albums… some I’ve been wanting to hear like Bon Iver and others that I might not ever listened to before like Britney Spears and Katy Perry. I could see continued use shoving something like iTunes aside and giving it some serious competition. There are Spotify users already planning to make the switch. For now, it’s an additional place for me to play music [I still have a sizable investment in iTunes], but it’s a solid product and one that I see having a use for integrating one’s music across multiple platforms.

Slashgear invites

Need an invite? Want to see what is the buzz with Spotify? Click the photo above or this link to sign up. It should be good for a while.

Give Spotify a shot. It’s free and you might find some cool music you’ve enjoy.

Who already has Spotify? Tell me how you are liking it (or not).