Spotify is essentially a cloud-based version of iTunes except that it’s a subscription based service and music is DRM protected.  Its music library boasts around 15 million songs with much app support from developers.

Spotify has three available listening plans:

Spotify Free – The free version serves ads as you listen for revenue obviously.  Music is  160 Kbps music quality.  You can manage your digital music files and connect with others using the built-in social networking features.  Spotify has been BIG in the innovation of sharing music with others following a legal version of Napster structure.

Spotify Unlimited –  For only $4.99 per month you get every feature from the free plan but with Spotify Unlimited you get ad free and lets you sync locally stored music.

Spotify Premium – This is a $9.99 per month package.  This lets you hear albums before they’re released, cache songs for offline playback on your computer, iPhone, or Android, and sound quality is 320 Kbps audio.  (I have this account since I spent more then $9.99 a month on iTunes this was a huge money saver.)

To use Spotify you’ll need to install a local client on your PC (Windows 7, Vista, XP), Mac and there is even a Linux version is available. Apps are available for iOS and Android as mentioned above.  During the install you will be asked to choose to create an account of use Facebook integration.  The interface is fast and stable.

Spotify offers a main library view, playlist and album art pane.  You can sort the library by track, artist, time, and album.  Spotify is following suite like most audio apps copying iTunes look and feel.  Spotify is not the only company to do this Winamp and Google Music followed the pattern just seams to be the standard of the times.

Spotify has done the same thing Rhapsody did with allowing users to offline music.  Spotify is how ever still the new kid on the block wanting to compete on all fronts adding radio to compete with Pandora.  They recently added radio to there mobile app.  Spotify has many things going for them one would be the fact they opened up there plat form to app developers to compete with other companies like Shazam and AOL music.

There company mission and structure looks very promising with a strong group of leaders and developers.  Shawn Parker was added to there staff not very long ago and over the past year has become there poster child.  Saying Spotify is the legal Napster and is everything Napster should of been.  Spotify is in a very competitive market and time will tell to see how they do in the market share as physical media sales fall and digital prevails.  With people continue to download music or will then go to subscription based services.

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