Monday 5th January 2015
Spotify, it’s the music streaming service that I’ve been trying to get my head around for years. I’m in the depths of a love-hate relationship with a service that just as I’m starting to feel satisfied with how I can stream my favourite tracks, seems to want to head in another direction.
I first opened my account during the Spotify boom of 2008/2009, when registrations were open and free. Not long after this, it returned to invitation only, where only users who were paying for the service could send out invitations. However, these invitations were limited to 5 per user, so you if you wanted one you needed to polish up that friendship sharp.
Since then, Spotify has continued to tease as it’s constantly changing faster than the wind on how to become available to different users. Remember when listening for free users became limited to 10 hours per month? And then remember when they limited it to 5 plays per song? Jeeze, I’m pretty sure George Orwell could write a book on such strict regulations.
If that wasn’t enough, in 2010 former First President of Facebook, Sean Parker was reeled in to assist with winning over the record labels. Not long after this, Spotify partnered up with Facebook so that users could share their playlists through the social network. This was also the time when you could then only open up a Spotify account by having a Facebook account. Fortunately this is no longer the case and can now also be opened through the Spotify website again.
My most recent frustrations have come with the launch of the mobile app. I thought it was great being able to listen to my music on the go, until I realised that I had no control over it. The only way that free users can use the app is in shuffle mode. Which is fine if you’re listening to a certain playlist and don’t mind which order it plays out in.
However, there is a feature that Spotify have sneaked in. Because the service is generally used to discover new music, Spotify has aided this assistance by throwing in recommendations every few songs, based upon what you’re currently listening to. So a track comes on and you want to skip it because it’s not what you want to listen to. That’s fine, but it will eat in to your limit of 6 skips per hour.
So, there we have it, my grumble over a service that I’m certain users will continue to battle through whilst Spotify continues to battle through the on-going issues and regulations that are constantly pulled up by various record labels and artists.
There will always be a stickler for free music, and rightly so. This is merely a poke at a service that I struggle with because of its constant changes in restrictions. With all this said, I can’t fault Spotify for trying to make music more readily accessible, and after all it has over 50 million users with almost a quarter of them being subscribers.
Spotify are currently offering 3 months of Spotify Premium for only 99p. So that’s 3 months of no adverts, no limitations, higher quality streaming, and you can download music to your devices to listen offline (no internet connection needed). You can’t say fairer than that.