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Spotify set to launch in the U.S. tomorrow (+ explanation of what Spotify is)

By ; July 13, 2011 at 8:05 PM 

After last week causing a stir by suddenly announcing that they had finally managed to secure a US launch, Spotify have now revealed that tomorrow will be the official date. The differences from the European version seem to be small, but advantageous for North Americans. Non-paying members will get 20 hours a month for free (whereas in Europe they only get 10), it will be $4.99 a month for unlimited, commercial-less service, and those who want it on their mobile devices can have it for $9.99 a month.

Don’t get too excited yet, you’re going to need an invite to get on! No information has yet been delivered on who will receive the first invites. Maybe if you know somebody over in Europe they can invite you? We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow morning. For now it couldn’t hurt signing up for an account at Spotify.com.

Don’t know what Spotify is? As an Englishman who has used it for years I’ll give you a simple explanation.

It’s basically a program that you download to your computer for free that looks quite similar to your iTunes, and essentially runs just like your iTunes. But, rather than having just the tracks that are on your computer you can search a HUGE library of music that is stored… I don’t know where, “the cloud” maybe? Anyway this is a great way to have a portable library without having to carry around a hard drive. You can save playlists and access them from any computer with Spotify, and it has a social function which allows you to share playlists with your Facebook friends. Playlists can also be collaborative, meaning you and your friends can build a playlist together, which is great fun.

Those who don’t pay get a limited amount of free streaming time a month. You also get commercials on the program and every few tracks a commercial will come interrupt your listening, like a radio commercial, before continuing with your next track. Paying for Spotify means no commercials, unlimited listening and a higher bitrate.

Check out the screen shot below. This is Pavement’s ‘page’, you can see my playlists in the left column, and a commercial on the right because I’m currently not paying for an unlimited, commercial-less service (my remaining free streaming time can be seen at the top).


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