Spotify revolutionizes music listening

Credit: Adelaide Cole/Art Editor Credit: Adelaide Cole/Art Editor

Attention, Carnegie Mellon students: A revolutionary new service has become available to music listeners across the nation. The name of this innovation is Spotify.

Spotify is a music streaming service that allows listeners to search and play songs from an impressively large variety of record labels. This selection of music includes about 15 million tracks, which means users can find almost any song from any album, by any artist. One exciting aspect of Spotify is that users are allowed to listen nearly instantly not to just a sample of the song, but to the entire, full-length song for free. The other incredible part is that all of it is legal. According to Wired, “Those who have tried Spotify know it’s like a magical version of iTunes in which you’ve already bought every song in the world.”

Spotify is easy to navigate, and searching for and playing songs is simple. There is no waiting for songs to download; it is as easy as one click. Listeners can hear almost any song they want whenever they want, make playlists of their own music files from their hard drive or iTunes library, and share music through social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. Spotify’s music library is a compilation of both the user’s music and its own extensive music collection. With all music libraries collected in one place and the ability to connect to a social networking site, it is easy to share music with friends.

On the side bar of the homepage, there is a “What’s New” tab so users can be up to date on the latest music. The “Top Lists” tab shows the most popular music, and the “Feed” tab shows music shared among friends and Spotify news. There is also the music library and all playlists, including the “Starred” playlist, to which any song can be added in order to create a massive collection of every song that the user wants. It is also possible to rewind or fast forward to any part of a song, and of course to replay it as many times as the user wants. One other helpful feature is the filter tool, which allows the user to type in criteria to filter music from any playlist or search results.

Although there are many benefits of the free service, there are also some limitations that are a bit disappointing. Listeners can only listen to the same song five times per month, with a maximum of 10 hours of music per month after a certain time period. However, paid subscribers enjoy more enticing features. Users of Unlimited or Premium Service enjoy an advertisement-free version of the service, an unlimited number of playbacks, and an unlimited number of hours of music streaming. Premium users also have a mobile service, by which subscribers are able to sync all their favorite playlists from Spotify to their mobile devices. Premium users also have an offline mode, which allows them to listen to music without internet access.

This creative music service is certain to change the way we share and listen to music. The service is an accessible — and legal — alternative to pirating music. Many music listeners are willing to search through files of mediocre quality, risk downloading viruses, and wait for a long duration of time to download songs illegally as long as the music is free and accessible. Spotify presents everyone with plenty of music at their disposal instantly, with no painfully slow downloads, no viruses, and no guilty conscience.

It is an ingenious concept, and it has already received significant acclaim. Billboard.biz praised Spotify, saying, “Spotify makes music fun again, just like the iPod did nearly 10 years ago.” Recorded music has come from vinyl records to tapes, to CDs to music files, and now it has reached music streaming so that music is easier to access than ever before. Thanks to Spotify, listening to music will never be the same.