|Editor's Review Costs & Features Videos User Reviews|
We have awarded Spotify US our prestigious Bronze Award in this category, having reviewed 14 US Music Download Websites. Read our review below to find out why...
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The best things in life are free, so the saying goes, and Spotify could be up there with “love” and “compassion”. Spotify does something that almost no other music download sites can claim: it lets you listen to full tracks of music completely free of charge. This is its key ‘selling’ point, and it’s quite an exciting one: new and old music at your fingertips and eardrums without it costing you a penny. They also provide free software to play your music, a relatively user-friendly site and a few little bonuses like biographies. The help section is useful for your key issues too. It’s highly integrated into Facebook which is useful for sharing your music choices with friends if you so wish. And well, it’s FREE! So how do they do it? Well, this leads us into the ‘not so great’ features of Spotify...
Once you’ve listened to 3 or 4 tracks on Spotify you’ll notice a radio-style series of adverts interrupting your listening, promoting particular shows, products and stores. Now this isn’t particularly unique, particularly if you’re used to listening to the radio, but it can really throw off the vibe of your music session. In between a relaxing concerto blasts “Hey thanks for listening to my music but I just want to warn you about the cost of headphones”. It’s hardly conducive to atmosphere. There is a way around this, of course, which is to start paying for the service.
The paid versions of Spotify are essentially the same deal but without adverts and with a few extra perks. Free Spotify has a limit on the time you can spend listening to free music (10 hours when you first sign up, which is then topped up with 2.5 hours per week). With the unlimited package the adverts are removed and you have no time limit. It’s a very reasonable price at £4.99. Further up the price scale is Spotify Premium, which allows you to download tracks and listen to them offline. Some may find Spotify a little harder to use than some of its rivals and it seems to offer less support to its users.
Spotify’s key issue is that it’s too easy to accidentally change tracks or stop your song. If you’re not very very accurate with your clicks then your playlist suddenly stops and you’ve been taken into listening to something completely different and have to backtrack. Its menus aren’t particularly well thought out either and commands which should take one click sometimes take 3 or 4. Its help section is also too list-like and fails to be useful for quick tips and advice at times.
In all Spotify is wonderful for its free trials. The paid packages are a very reasonable price but the site and program’s construction needs some work to be completely user-friendly. This is certainly a very good option, particularly if you’re interested in sharing your song choices with friends on Facebook and don’t want to fork out your precious earnings to pay for the privilege of music.
Click on the button below to check out Spotify.com/us for yourself...