Spotify is a slick music streaming service with a vast catalogue of tunes. It’s cross-platform and available as a desktop client. We reviewed it when it first came out – and loved it. Since then it’s become a key part of our setup.
Until recently, we’d stuck with the free version, which is supported by periodic banner ads and audio interruptions. The ad-supported Spotify recently went invitation-only so if you don’t have it, you’ll have to find a friend who does. Alternatively, like many such services, there’s a premium version that charges £9.99 a month or 99p for a day pass.
Like many of you out there, we’ve been perfectly happy with the free version of the service. Over the last few months though, Spotify has added lots of new features to the Premium offering. Having tried it out for a few weeks, we can say that it’s well worth the monthly £9.99 if you’re a music fan.
For example, the bitrate is double that of the free version. At 320Kbps, it’s qualitatively close to CD as long as your internet connection can handle it. There are no ads, which makes a bigger difference than you might think – especially as the ads are rarely as well-targeted as Spotify claims. And a huge change: you can back up 3,333 tracks from playlists to your hard drive and listen offline. And, if you have an iPhone, the brilliant Spotify mobile app is free when you have a Premium account.
Spotify Premium is actually great value for money. For the price of 10 iTunes tracks, you get access to a huge library of high-quality music. Spotify just has to persuade customers that’s the case.