Friday, July 15, 2011

First Look: Spotify For iOS

You know how much of a geek I am?  I got my Spotify invite last night when I was waiting in line to see the midnight showing of "Harry Potter And The Death Hallows Part 2."  I had my Spotify account up and running and I was listening to music before I got into the theater.

You can go ahead and download the Spotify iOS app [iTunes link] and request an invite on the website.

So far, I like what I hear.
I chose the high quality stream (320 kbps) and I think it sounds better than Pandora and doesn't stutter as much as

I bought into the $9.99/month deal that supports mobile streaming and offline playing.  Otherwise, it's desktop-only.  If you're going to stream music from mainly one desktop computer, it's a FREE service with ads.  If you really, really abhor ads, you can part with $4.99/month plus the ability to login from any computer without restrictions.

The desktop application for Windows looks suspiciously like iTunes, which is a good thing for iOS users.  It automatically synced up to iTunes and I began making playlists using the music I already have.  The song selection is not as good as iTunes, but I knew that going in.  When I opened the Spotify app on my iPhone 4 or iPad 2, the Spotify desktop app asked if I wanted to sync these devices.  It was easy to set up the ecosystem.

In iTunes, social interaction through Ping seems like an afterthought.  I don't use it everyday.  In the Spotify desktop app, you login to Facebook and immediately you see friends who already have Spotify and public playlists are easily shared.  Right now, I'm enjoying listening to my friends' playlists more than my own.  If you have Spotify go ahead and add me:
Follow me on Spotify
I tried the free week of Rdio and it was a decent service.  But, I never figured out how to enable offline playing so I couldn't play songs in my old car.  And I don't remember sharing playlists.  The main difference is there is no free version of Rdio and the desktop player is within a browser.

I will try this service at least until iCloud is fully implemented with iTunes Match sometime this fall.  Although iTunes Match only streams the music you already have in iTunes, it's also much cheaper at $24.99/year.  iTunes Match streams up to 256 kbps, which may be good for some who don't have unlimited data plans.  Is Spotify worth $119.88/year for me?  We'll see...

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