Alright, so we've told you a bit about what Spotify is. But before we help you get started using Spotify, we've taken the liberty of spotting some of the service's pros and cons. Have a look, and then decide whether or not you want to use Spotify from here.
Free to use — If you don't want to pay for Spotify, you don't have to.
At home or on the go — Spotify is available for multiple platforms, including both Windows and Apple desktop computers, iPads, iPhones, BlackBerries, Android-powered smart phones, and Windows phones.
Build your collection of music — There are over 30 million songs on Spotify to discover and add to your collection. You can simply browse what's popular right now, or search for something specific. You can even import songs already on your device!
Personalize your tunes — Make your own custom music mixes, or have Spotify make them for you based on songs or artists that you like.
A music-loving community — Follow your friends and favourite artists on Spotify to see what they're listening to or what new music they're bringing out next.
You get what you pay for — Having only a free Spotify account instead of one with a paid subscription limits the usability of Spotify. For example, you'll see advertisements in the application, and hear advertisements between songs. You will also be unable to listen to your Spotify playlists while not connected to the Internet.
Your music, Spotify's rules — All music on Spotify (except music already on your local device) only works with the Spotify application. It cannot be used with other music players, moved to other devices, or listened to while offline (except, for the last one, if you have a paid subscription). In addition, Spotify no longer allows for the purchase and download of its songs (except through illegal third-party applications).
The bottom line: 8.5/10
Spotify is one of the most popular music-streaming services around, and for good reason. It's free to sign up for, and you can use it at home with your desktop computer or on the go with your mobile device (such as a smart phone or tablet computer).
Spotify's biggest strength by far is the number of ways that it helps you discover new music to listen to. You can browse what's popular in certain countries or around the world, or have a look at what people like in certain genres or for certain activities (such as chilling out or hitting the gym). You can get general recommendations based on what you listen to, or have Spotify play you a mix based on a song, artist, album, or playlist that you like.
You can even use Spotify as its own social network. Follow your favourite artists to be the first to know when they have new music on Spotify. Or, follow your friends, chat back and forth, and recommend songs or artists to each other. Create your own custom playlists of music, and show them off to the Spotify community. You can even get your friends on Spotify to help put together a music mix for you!
There are two major points against Spotify, though. The first is that the ways in which you can use it are somewhat limited unless you have a paid subscription, such as seeing and hearing advertisements or not being able to listen to music offline. Spotify has certain promotions that allow you to minimize the cost of a subscription (at least for a certain period of time), but even these have been lessening in value lately, and it is rumored that Spotify may soon become a paid-only service.
The other downside to Spotify is that it only plays music for you; it doesn't give you direct control over the songs themselves. This means that you can't listen to Spotify music without logging into the Spotify application, and you have to be connected to the Internet (except in rare circumstances). You also can't take songs off Spotify and put them on your computer or other devices (at least not anymore), except with illegal outside programs.
Overall, we recommend using Spotify if you're interested in discovering new music to listen to. Its "Radio", browsing, and social-media-like functions make it easy to find new tunes that are similar to those by artists that you already like. You may want to use it alongside a program such as iTunes that actually allows you to purchase and download music, so that you can save and control the music that you find on Spotify even if you stop using it.
Okay! If you're ready to learn how to use Spotify, our next tutorial will show you what you need to do to get it up and running!