While it's a powerful alternative to iTunes or Amazon MP3, Spotify is a very different creature indeed. Rather than selling you MP3s, it lets you stream unlimited songs from a huge catalog of music.
But this different type of service leads to a lot of questions. Read on for answers to some of the most common ones.
Features & Limitations
Does Spotify let you download music (like iTunes) or stream music (like Rhapsody)?
While Spotify is primarily a streaming service, it also has some offline listening features. The most basic use of Spotify is to search for music and then stream it to either the desktop or mobile Spotify app via the web. However, some Spotify plans allow users to save songs for offline listening--listening to the songs even when their device or computer isn't connected to the Internet.
How Many Songs Does Spotify Offer?
More than 15 million.
Do You Own the Music You Get From Spotify?
No. You must maintain your subscription to Spotify in order for the music to continue to work. If you end your subscription, you won't be able to listen to Spotify music offline or on mobile devices anymore, though you'll still be able to stream it.
Can You Rip Spotify Music to File?
Ripping is the term used to describe converting music from a CD to a digital file on a computer. Since Spotify is a streaming only service, many people wonder whether they can rip songs from it. While there's no feature built into Spotify to allow this, there are a number of programs that can help. If you have any programs that allow you to record streaming audio from the Internet, they may be able to help you rip Spotify songs. Bear in mind, though, that this violates your user agreement with Spotify, prevents artists from being paid for their music, and may be illegal.
Can you Burn CDs of Spotify Music?
Not in the U.S. In other parts of the world, Spotify allows users to purchase downloads of their favorite songs. Those purchased and downloaded songs can be burned to CD. There's no word yet on if or when that feature will be available for U.S. users.
What Social/Sharing Features Does Spotify Offer?
Spotify offers Facebook integration and allows you to post about songs or albums on Facebook and Twitter, and via email. Spotify users can send songs or each others' inboxes within the app.
What Kind of Networks Does Spotify Work On?
Spotify works on both Wi-Fi and 3G wireless networks, as well as wired broadband networks like Ethernet.
What Is The Quality of Spotify's Music Streams?
The standard streaming quality is 192 kbps. Paid accounts can use 320 kbps streaming.
Does Spotify Support AirPlay?
The desktop program doesn't support AirPlay, but the iOS app does. To access the AirPlay menu in the Spotify app, play a song and then tap the "i" button in the top left corner of the screen. If there's an Airplay-compatible device you can access, the AirPlay icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen.
What iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads Does Spotify Work With?
Any iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads running iOS 3.0 or higher.
Does Spotify Work with Other iPods?
No. It only works with iOS devices that can run the Spotify mobile app.
What Desktop Operating Systems Does Spotify Work On?
Mac OS X 10.4 or higher and Windows XP/Vista/7.
Is There a Limit to the Number of Computers You Can Use Spotify On?
No. Spotify can run on as many computers and devices as you have.
Can Spotify Be Used to Sync iOS devices and iPods?
Yes. Spotify can work somewhat like iTunes, in that it can sync Spotify music to the iPhone app and music stored in your iTunes library to your iOS music app.
Does Spotify Sync Video, Audiobooks, and Apps?
No. Even when syncing via Spotify, types of content not supported by Spotify--like TV shows, movies, and apps--are synced via iTunes.
Can Spotify Sync Offline Files to Non-iOS iPods?
No. Spotify files can only be synced to devices running the mobile app. For non-iOS app devices, Spotify only syncs iTunes library music.
What Does Spotify Cost?
There three kinds of Spotify accounts:
- Free - Lets you listen to any Spotify music; includes ads; limited to 10 hours of listening per month
- Unlimited - Includes all aspects of the Free account, but removes ads and the listening limit. Allows 320 kbps streaming. US$4.99/month
- Premium - All earlier features, and adds offline listening, mobile device support, and listening outside your home country. Allows 320 kbps streaming. US$9.99/month
What Does It Cost to Buy Songs From Spotify?
Right now, in the U.S. at least, it's not possible to buy songs from Spotify, only to stream them or save for offline listening.
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