iTunes vs. Spotify? It’s a question I hear all the time. My answer? Spotify.
Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan of all things designed by Apple. The MacBook Pro is the only computer I’ve ever owned, and will ever own. And I’ve been a proud iPhone user for years. I remember waiting in a long line at the Apple Store in SoHo New York to buy the first generation of iPhone. That was back in 2007. So it’s really hard for me to endorse a non-Apple product over an Apple product, but I feel that it’s warranted in this instance, here’s why.
[already know about Spotify and just want to download it? Skip to How Do I Get on Spotify?
1. Free Music – In this day and age, people don’t like paying for creative content like movies and songs, especially when it can be pirated. But you can get free music without breaking the law, and without dealing with annoying torrents and P2P applications. It’s called Spotify. Sure, there are 30-second ads that run between every 6 songs or so, but it’s a small price to pay for virtually unlimited music. (If you really can’t stand the ads, you can download a free app that will automatically mute them for you.)
But the way to avoid ads all together is to support to Spotify and upgrade to their “unlimited plan” for $5 a month. This plan is just what it sounds like: unlimited music, ad free. iTunes on the other hand generally charges $0.99 per song download or $9.99 for an entire album. So do it, get Spotify unlimited, its honestly the best $5 you can spend in a month.
2. Free Radio – Forget traditional radio or even Pandora, Spotify comes with a free radio player. You can create custom radio stations based on your favorite songs or artists. This is especially useful for discovering new music or for those indecisive moments when you just can’t decide what to listen to next. Simply ‘right-click’ on any song in your library and select ‘start radio’.[facebook_like_button] share this article
3. Awesome Apps – One my favorite things about Spotify is the ability to install 3rd-party apps. Curious about a song’s lyrics? Get TuneWiki. Want to discover artists and songs recommended by the editors of Rolling Stone Magazine? Install the Rolling Stone Mag app!
My personal favorite app (and the best Spotify app for travelers) is the Songkick Concerts app. Songkick will automatically alert you when your favorite band is scheduled to play a concert in your area. You can also select a city and discover the bands that will be in the area for a specified date. This is perfect for the traveler. Headed to Buenos Aires or Berlin for a few weeks? Click on the Songkick app in Spotify, select Berlin, and see a list of all the shows in town.
4. Discover and Share: Social – Apple tried to make iTunes social with Ping, but for whatever reason, it never took off and the service was shutdown on September 30, 2012. But not to worry, Spotify is built around the social sharing experience.
On Spotify, you can follow friends and artists like you would on Twitter. A music feed, on the right side of the interface, shows songs your friends are listening to. Songs, albums and playlists can easily be shared by right clicking on them and selecting ‘share.’
By following your favorite artists, you can stay up to date with their latest song and album releases. A notification will automatically appear in your feed alerting you to un update by an artist.[facebook_like_button] share this article
5. Embed Playlists and Songs – If you have your own blog or website, you can embed a Spotify playlist directly into your page, like the one below.
Simply right click on a songname and select ‘copy embed code’ from the menu and paste that code into your blog. To customize the style of the widget, or to change the height and width, head over the Spotify widget designer and copy the code it gives you.
See an embedded playlists in action on my Coachella 2013 playlist post.
Other Spotify Benefits – If you feel like spending a little extra money, you can upgrade to Spotify premium for $10 a month. This plan will allow you to access your music library from any device you may own; your computer, tablet and smartphone. I bought this plan so that I can listen to my Spotify playlists in my car while I’m driving. And while traveling in Costa Rica, I used my friend’s iPhone to access my Spotify library so that we could play music at our hostel.
This plan will also allow you to download your songs to your device, so that if you lose an internet connection, you’ll still be able to listen. Again, this is great for travelers because you can keep your music with you at all times. Remember, $10 on iTunes buys you one single album, $10 on Spotify buys you unlimited music that you can share across all of your devices.[facebook_like_button] share this article
How do I get on Spotify?
OK, so you’ve read why it’s so great, but you may be wondering how to download Spotify. Go to this page and click on “Get Spotify” in the upper right hand corner, a download should automatically begin. You’ll then be asked to enter your Facebook information (information from your Facebook account is used to create your Spotify Social Profile). Voilà, once you confirm your Facebook information, you’re ready to start using Spotify to listen to all of your favorite songs!
I’m sorry if this post sounded like one long Spotify ad, but I really feel like it’s one of the greatest, most disruptive products on the tech scene right now. If you plan on traveling and want to stay connected with your music library and up to date with the latest music, then getting Spotify is a must.