I downloaded Spotify years ago – being a computer geek I install hundreds of programs on my computer all the time, and like a ticking time bomb of coolness, I wait for it to explode. Now, it seems about the right time to kick start the program again and spread the word.
In our decade profile of the Noughties (Issue 200), we talked about Spotify being the potential future of music distribution among downloaders, legal and illegal. As it lets you stream music you don’t technically download it onto your computer (it’s like the radio in that respect) but you can replay it over and over again with adverts in between. Advertising is Spotify’s main income, which they then pass onto the record companies who allow them access to all the music.
So jargon aside, what do you get? Well, a lot of music; reportedly 6 million songs are available. You can search via artist and album, you can even make playlists (and as many as you want to). A search not only brings up albums but singles (because some of those b-sides are quite good), collectors editions and even appearances on remixed albums; there is a full range of music that you would not normally hear by just buying the album. If you have a last.fm account you can scrobble the music you listen to in Spotify, so it won’t look like you have fallen off the face of the last.fm earth. There is also a phone application, but is only available to paying premium members.
Sadly some things are still missing: you cannot search by record label, which would be very useful in finding the next great band from a particular label that you like. Bands can opt out of having their music on the website; for example, Oasis, The Beatles, AC/DC and Metallica are unavailable. The country in which you live will also affect the amount of music available.
Regardless, Spotify is an exciting new medium through which to find up-and-coming bands, and it is driving the spirit of great quality music and accessibility. Impact’s top albums of the decade all appear on Spotify, where we have linked you to the artist, so there is much to rejoice about.
To join Spotify you will need an invitation as of September 2009, due to high demand. Impact have some, and we have created a Facebook Group, so just comment and people will be able to help you out. Otherwise just ask around, and there will probably be someone you know who can help you out.
In future additions to the music section we will be posting links to artists on Spotify and creating Spotify playlists to ensure your musical needs are met!