After signing up for a Spotify invite the day it was made available in the States, I received my invite on Wednesday. And I am in love! In the short time that I’ve had Spotify I’ve listened to entire records by The Decemberists, The National, and Matt Nathanson (yes, my taste is a little eclectic). That wouldn’t really be worth mentioning, except I don’t own any of the records I was listening to (just two songs from The National’s latest). And Spotify is free! That’s the part that really boggles my mind. I have no idea how Spotify was able to swing licensing deals that allow users to play pretty much anything they want. Pandora’s restrictive licensing deals (a user can only hear a given artist four times in a set time, a user can only skip six songs in a set time, and a user can’t make Pandora play a given song), though annoying, make sense to me. I have a Pandora station based on the song “Hit Or Miss” by New Found Glory, but I have yet to hear that song on that station. It’s frustrating. A couple of months ago I heard about Rdio, which sounded promising (it’s like Pandora, but you can control what songs you hear!), but it costs $5/month, and I’m broke, so I gave up on Rdio after my free trial ended and went back to Pandora. But now there’s Spotify, which is like Rdio, but free and with a more intuitive interface. It’s inconceivable! And amazing.
Not that Spotify is perfect. It occasionally lists the same album multiple times on an artist page and I don’t understand why. And I have discovered that it’s missing some albums entirely. Dustin Kensrue perfectly illustrates both of these issues: Spotify has four (4!) copies of his Christmas album, but zero (0!) copies of his first solo record. And the Related Artists feature has left me at a loss at times. In what universe is Straylight Run not related to Taking Back Sunday and Brand New?!?! (Confusing thing is confusing.)
Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives here. And the biggest positive is that it’s free! (Have I mentioned that yet?) That’s kind of a big deal for broke me. It lets me check out a record (such as the new Matt Nathanson record, which I had heard good things about) before I buy it. Even better, it means I can save my money for more important things, like the three or four trips I have to make because of Bobby’s wedding. I very much believe in paying for music, but right now it has to be far down on the list of things I spend money on. Thank you, Spotify, for letting me find new music without resorting to music piracy!