The UK-based Spotify music application has finally made its jump across the pond. Unlike other music download sites like Pandora or Last.fm, where the main goal is to set up random radio stations, Spotify allows you to “try before you buy” by streaming single tracks and entire albums.
We’ve written in this column before about Spinner.com and its “Free CD Listening Party Section.” Spotify is like Spinner on steroids. Any album you can think of is free to stream on Spotify. The search feature also includes a “similar artists” tab, so you can jump from artist to artist and discover something new quickly and easily.
In addition to the enormous amount of music at your fingertips, Spotify has been integrated into the social media world, allowing you to share what you’re listening to on Facebook and make public playlists with other friends on Spotify. Finally, you and your friends can come together to create the biggest ‘80s new wave playlist known to man!
Of course, there is a catch. The free version of Spotify includes advertisements, which can totally kill the flow of an album, but are somewhat of a necessary evil. It’s also available in Premium ($4.99 a month), and Unlimited ($9.99 a month) versions that allow you to skip the ads and give you more access to the site.
So although Pandora’s Salt-n-Pepa radio station is still pretty bangin’, Spotify is a better way to listen, especially if you’re one of those people that celebrates the band’s entire catalog. Moreover, Spotify is a great way to get access to and share new music. Album by album, artist by artist.