If you love free, legal music, it’s hard to say ‘No’ to Spotify.
I’d been meaning to try Spotify for quite a while and finally downloaded the app to the PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad the other day to check out its on-demand music streaming service.
Spotify on the Desktop
On both the Mac and Windows desktop computers, Spotify worked fine.
Download the app, log in with your Facebook account, search for your favorite music, listen and drag to your Playlist to play it at any time.
Spotify is ‘social’ in the sense that you can share your favorite music with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
In a snap, I created Playlists for songs from Shammi Kapoor movies, other Hindi favorites, Tamil Songs, T.M.Soundararajan, Ilayaraja, Ennio Morricone, Vangelis and Godfather and added scores of songs to them.
Spotify comes in two varieties – free and paid.
The free option requires you to be online to listen to the music you’ve saved in your Playlist.
You’ll also have to put up with banner and voice ads in the free version.
The paid version comes in two flavors – Spotify Premium ($9.99/month for offline desktop and offline mobile listening and ad-free service) and Spotify Unlimited ($4.99/month for ad-free service).
I can’t see Indians signing up for a paid subscription.
Not in a million years. 😉
Indian Music on Spotify – Great Collection
Whether it’s Hindi, Tamil or any of the other Indian languages, Spotify sports an extensive collection.
Be they songs from forthcoming films like Billa 2, recent movies such as I Hate Luv Storys (2010) or from six decade-old Barsaat (1949), you can be sure to find ’em all on Spotify.
As I write this post, Spotify is playing Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar’s timeless melody Pyar Hua Iqrar Hua from Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420 in the background on my Windows PC.
Spotify Radio – Not Worth It
Spotify Radio is a new feature that lets you create ‘Radio Stations’ based on your favorite artists.
You can access it even on the free version of the Spotify service, both on desktop computers and on mobile devices.
But in its present incarnation, Spotify Radio is not good for Indian music.
When I created a ‘Radio Station’ for Tamil music director Ilayaraja, the songs offered to me were decades old Telugu numbers like O Chandamama.
This shows the limitations of algorithms for picking songs and the need for some degree of human curation.
One of the vexing features of Spotify is that you must log in through Facebook.
There’s no getting away from that.
And that’s where the problem crops up when you try to sign up for Spotify on mobile devices.
I had a hard time signing up for Spotify on both the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 because of the Facebook App. Other users on the Internet are also complaining about this problem.
But it was too much of a hassle. And when I later accidentally removed all content on the iPad and had to reinstall Spotify and Facebook, I was locked out again and just couldn’t login to Facebook via the native App.
And without logging into Facebook you can’t get Spotify to work on the iPad or iPhone.
Spotify is currently not available in India or any other part of Asia. It’s currently offered only in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Germany and a few other European countries.
For desis in the U.S. and Europe, Spotify is a decent free, legal desktop music service with some ‘social’ features. It’s definitely worth a deko.
Spotify – Different Flavors
Gangs of Wasseypur??
I no Gang-banging Wasseypur because movie no releasing in Amreeka.
Looks interesting, mighty interesting.
I plan to watch The Artist (Best Picture Oscar – 2012). The DVD will be out today.
Gangs of Wasseypur was brilliant.
I don’t understand why such movies doesn’t get released in your place while garbage like TMK and all does 🙁
So when is Part-2 releasing in India?
and this is intriguing.
Why does FB-login turn you off?
I find it very convenient instead of having to register every time. Setting spotify up on iphone 4s was a breeze for me.
You write: Why does FB-login turn you off?
Because like all Indians when something is given free to me I want more.
So much more! And it better be as per my whims. 😉
Looks like they don’t allow streaming in the free option. Not quite convinced if the free version is any better than Pandora. No streaming, 6 skips/hour … pretty similar to Pandora.
1. Yes, the streaming works only on the desktop and for the mobile presumably only in ‘Radio’ mode for free users.
2. More importantly, I must add a cautionary note to the above Spotify review.
Like any good desi, I use only the free option.
Guess what has happened in the last few days?
Most of the songs I had in my Spotify Playlists have disappeared. I had about 20 songs in a T.M.S. Sounderarajan playlist alone. All gone now. Ditto with dozens of songs in my Hindi and Shammi Kapoor playlists. Most songs have disappeared and even when I search for them in the Spotify search box I get a message that they are not in the Spotify catalog now. Strange!
I suspect it’s because I am using the free version or Spotify has licensing issues with the music labels.
If you or other readers can test whether Ponmagal Vanthaal or Muthukulikka Vaareegala is available in the Spotify catalog by typing it in the search box, we can get an idea if Spotify’s playing games. If you search for these two Tamil songs, make sure use the same spelling above. They are not available to me on Spotify now although they were just a few days back.
@SI I am not able to find those two songs. But my playlists are intact. But I have mostly English songs in my playlists.
@Tiramisu, Spotify radio is similar to Pandora, but the Indian song collection is much better – if you are into that kind of thing.
You write: my playlists are intact. But I have mostly English songs in my playlists.
Likewise here too….all the songs in my Ennio Morricone and Godfather trilogy playlists are intact.
But my ‘Indian’ Playlists – Hindi, Shammi Kapoor, TMS and Tamil – have taken a severe hit. Most tracks are greyed out.
Looks like there’s a problem with the ‘Indian’ part of Spotify.
Thanks for checking. As I said earlier, those two Tamil songs were in Spotify last week.
Most likely a licensing issue between Spotify and the music’s copyright owners.