Spotify is a music service developed in Sweden in 2006 and has only recently been made available to U.S users. My first experiences with it have been extraordinarily positive. After reading a load of reviews and comparing Spotify with Rhapsody and iTunes, I decided to pay the ten dollar monthly fee to try the premium tier of the service.
I have access to over 15 million tracks and I'm able to sync them with my iPad to play even when I’m not online. As an added bonus, I can load songs directly to my iPad using the Spotify app.The breadth and depth of song selection is astounding. Although you won’t find Beatles or Led Zeppelin, you will find just about every other artist you can think of.
If you’re not sure about parting with your money just yet, you can try the free service. You’ll have to deal with ads but you’ll still be able to access Spotify's massive library and listen on your laptop or desktop. If you choose the $4.99 Unlimited option, you’ll have ad-free access but still won’t be able to transfer your tracks to your mobile device. That option is reserved for Premium subscribers.
Creating playlists and sharing them with your Facebook friends is another excellent, fun feature of the service. With so many songs at your fingertips, sharing is a great way to discover new music.
The question remains as to how Spotify will impact iTunes. Why pay 99 cents for a track when you can get it for next to nothing, legally? Depending on how popular Spotify becomes in the U.S. Apple may have to step up to compete. The consumer will only benefit by the rivalry.