Five things you need to know about Spotify

Spotify was, until recently, an invitation only service (albeit with plenty of loopholes) which has now opened up to everyone. If you haven’t had time to read our complete review, link below, here are five points to bring you up to speed on what everybody is talking about.

Free music? How does that work?
Spotify has three basic models, the first, and likely to be the most popular, is free. After that you can buy a 24-hour pass, for 99p, or a subscription that will set you back £9.99 a month. The free subscription is supported by advertising, which will insert itself in-between tracks as you listen, or appear in the form of pop-up banner adverts within the application. They are less intrusive and less frequent than commercial radio advertising and don’t mar your listening experience.

But what music do you get for ... free?
Spotify has a fairly extensive catalogue and because you don’t have to pay, you can just check it out, and walk away if you don't like it. Once in the application you can search directly for what you want, or choose to view lists to popular tracks in various places. You can either just listen to your tracks, or you can start building playlists, which you can also share with other Spotify users. The great thing is just dragging stuff to the left-hand menu to come back to later.

Do you get to keep the music?
No, you don’t get any of the music. The music is streamed, so you’ll have to be connected to the Internet, although it does cache in the background, so if you are temporarily disconnected, the track won’t instantly stop. But you can also install the application on more than one PC and when you login, all your playlists will be there, so effectively, as long as you are online, you get to take your music with you.

Any other neat features?
Yes, there are. If you don’t fancy yourself as a DJ, then you can get the software to do it for you through the Radio function. This isn’t actually anything to do with the radio, but instead lets you define what sort of music you want to listen to and Spotify does the rest. Pick your era and genre and away you go. Heavy metal? Hip-Hip? Techno? Doesn’t matter, just pick what you want, and pretty soon you’ll be finding new bands.

Sounds great - where can I get it?
Just head over to the website, register, download and get listening.