Spotify, Prodigy, Grooveshark etc

Now that Spotify is available in the US, what do you guys think of it? I’ve had a Spotify subscription for a few years now and it certainly satisfies my needs, but Grooveshark looks pretty ok too.

Out of curiousity, how do these sites handle unsigned bands? Is there any listening network that allows bands to upload their demos, then uses the social networking aspect to let listeners rank them, rate them and classify them? You could pitch it at the serious music folk on the look out for new, up and coming bands. Then tie it into a sales system to try and monetise it.

I think Spotify only deals with actual labels.

Grooveshark is not legal, is it? It works with music uploaded by his users. You can find an album called “band name - album name - uPloadEd by 1337Hackerxxx”, songs tagged incorrectly, etc.

I’ve been using MOG for months and have been very happy with it. $10/month, legal, great iPhone and Android app and it lets you download songs for offline playback. The selection is pretty huge and it’s rare to find they don’t have something I want. I’m sure Spotify is great but I’m not seeing a compelling reason to switch right now.

Relatedly, yuck.

I don’t get how that chart is relevant. Spotify, Rhapsody, and streaming music services should be compared to FM, not to album sales or digital downloads.

And we’re off!

You can do the same on YouTube. And both services will pull uploads if the right person complains.

My Spotify invite arrived today. So far, I’m pretty impressed with the depth of the back catalog for more mainstream stuff. Searches for Catherine Wheel, Iron Maiden, Front 242 and Echo & The Bunnymen turn up basically their entire bodies of work.

Unfortunately, if you get much more obscure than those bands, things get spotty quick. For instance, searching for “The Fall” turns up a grand total of one album (out of like 25). But, hey…what do I want for free?

I like Spotify so far, but’s not the greatest. They have a lot of songs, but there are still a lot I’ve not found, which makes me sad, it does.

I’m finding now that I was totally wrong about a bunch of bands missing. A lot of bands don’t turn up in the search window, but if you click on their name in the Artists links above the search, bingo! there they all are. Spotify actually has 42 Fall albums, mostly in the double and triple disc re-issue versions…I counted. Plus, god knows how many singles and comp appearance. My apologies to the Spotify Corporation for slandering their good name.

Now that I’ve discovered that little trick, all the gaps I was sad about have mostly disappeared. They have pretty much everything I’ve searched for…even weirdo noise bands from New Zealand and whatnot.

Yeah, i’ve found that the search is very particular, but eventually, everything has been there…

Spotify, combined with a Squeezebox Touch, makes my house always sound great. Absolutely loving the service. The phone streaming is a lot of fun as well. Does anyone know of a small Android or future ios device that I can use to play offline songs while working out?

So after playing with Spotify last evening and this morning, a few observations:

  1. There’s something about having free, instant access to a huge swath of the world’s musical output that makes me want to listen to old, crappy metal albums. I’ve spent 90% of my time with Spotify listening to old Mercyful Fate, Priest, Saxon and Accept records…and I have The Essential Journey pumping out of my stereo right now. I can’t explain this.

  2. Spotify has a really really annoying bug where an in-house ad plays and then the service just gets stuck, and no amount of button-pushing will fix it. Only a restart of the client. Anyone else seen this behavior?

  3. Despite #2, so far I’m really pleased with the service. I’m leaning towards giving them my $5 to get the ad-free version.

I think it is like free porn. You can look at it, but you don’t actually want to own it.

I know you’re joking, but I think there’s something to that. I definitely don’t want to pay for a Scorpions album, but there’s apparently an unmet 80s bad metal need in my psycho-geography somewhere. Thank God for the internet.

Observation #4: The ads in the free version can be a bummer. I was really getting into Priest’s Screaming For Vengeance album, and right in between Electric Eye and Riding The Wind comes an ad for Aretha Franklin. Now, I love Aretha and Respect is a wonderful song, but it doesn’t really fit the mood. I realize they’re jarring for a reason…they want me to subscribe, but still, it’s very annoying.

I thought I would try this out, so I now have two invites. If you are interested, post a reply. (Although I won’t be able to send them until tomorrow morning.)

Has anyone found any good companion sites to Spotify? Just got my invite today and I would have to imagine with it’s popularity there are sites that help users find new music. Any suggestions for a playlist sharing site or whatnot?

These are the two sites that I have found: