Spotify – future or failure?

Today I acquired a much sought-after Spotify invite (thanks Mikolan!) and finally got to try what has been called a new and revolutionary way to listen to music. Instead of wrapping music in DRM and selling it at ridiculous prices (I’m looking at you, Apple.) they provide you with software that lets you stream their entire gigantic library to your computer. (Screenshot below) All you need is an internet connection.

The service is presented in two flavors, a free ad-based service, where you listen to music on-demand and hear occasional messages from sponsors (So far I’ve only heard ads for a security company and for Spotify themselves.) and a paid service – for 99 swedish kronor per month you not only get all of the music, but it is completely ad-free. I should also mention that the service is currently available in Sweden exclusively, visiting the site from another country informs the user that Spotify is not available due to licensing restrictions.

While the service is pretty great, it’s not perfect – I found that even though Spotify sports a huge library, many artists that I listen to are unavailable at the moment, either at all or in full albums. The ones that I miss the most are: Ugress, The Flashbulb, Mind.In.A.Box, Dark Globe and Juno Reactor. While there are perfectly good reasong to why these artists are missing, I still feel a bit sad that they’re not in place yet. But don’t let a few missing artists fool you, I found tons of other obscure artists on Spotify, and am very impressed by the library.

My final words would be that Spotify is a great service, and that I’m planning a forum post comparing it to similar services such as Last.fm and Pandora.

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