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March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

When it launched in October last year Spotify was the great little secret of the music industry. That changed last month when Spotify opened registration to all UK residents and it has fast become the talk of the Internet (well, that and Twitter). It’s not hard to see why: instantaneous, high quality audio streaming, a vast library of artists, deals in place with the Big Four record labels (Universal, Sony BMG, Time Warner & EMI) and a choice of free ad-supported or monthly subscription models. Still, time to get tough…

The preamble: My cult and contentious reviews’ system. Designed as a time saver to highlight the potential deal breakers in a product or service before you commit to reading lengthy reviews on your favourites sites and/or magazines. For a more detailed description of JtBP please read: the Rules

Just the Bad Points Review: Spotify

I feel bad even doing this:

Revolutionising the music industry - but it isn't perfect

Revolutionising the music industry - but it isn't perfect

  • Spotify has yet to disclose how much bandwidth its service sucks up
  • Artist Biographies are often out of date, missing off their latest releases
  • No iTunes, Last.fm or Pandora integration
  • No Lyrics
  • Basic radio incorporation
  • Only form of music recommendations come through advertising
  • Few features/software updates since launch
  • Very limited options to purchase content (though arguably it slightly destroys the point)
  • More invasive secondary advertising has been creeping (particularly in case of new U2 album ‘No Line on the Horizon’)
  • While new content is added, existing content has shrunk with individual artists demanding greater royalty deals
  • No third party handset applications as yet (despite iPhone client being spotted)
  • Security question marks after user accounts were hacked last week

Despite this get it, just GET IT!

As always suggestions welcome…

Update: to be clear there is at least scrobbling to Last.fm (appreciated radioedit)


7 Responses to “Spotify”
  1. Filip Hnizdo says:

    just search genre:techno etc for genre searches.

  2. Afront says:

    Hi Gordon, nice review, I agree with some of your “bad points” but note that:

    – Spotify Super Search (http://sss.pansentient.com/) gives full genre search

    http://www.listdj.se/ claims to add lyrics to Spotify songs

    Both of these are “external solutions” but perhaps this might help towards a more open policy.


  3. Gordon says:

    Thanks for the tips guys, really helpful. I’ll update the list removing that :)

  4. John says:

    The spoitfy support forum is just over run with Trolls, and it has zero moderation and is a complete waste of time, not unlike spotify itself!

  5. Gordon says:

    I’m sorry John, I couldn’t disagree more. While I have had no issue with the Spotify forums myself that is entirely separate from the product itself and Spotify is an industry changing development.

    By comparison YouTube probably has the most bullheaded, ignorant and often downright offensive comments section on the Internet but that doesn’t make its service any less useful.

  6. Josh says:

    The most aggravating thing about spotify (what caused me to delete it) is the ads. They’re not normal ads. They knowingly put the ads where the up and down arrows to scroll through the songs are. Meaning: after a few multiple clicks in a row, Spotify recognizes it and throws an ad right there where you click and before you know it what you had on is something else.

    Ads are to advertise product, not to just trick people into clicking it so Spotify gets the money for each and every click on that ad. Tricking users is not advertising. In fact, I purposely don’t buy or use products that advertise like that. It’s more of an annoyance and makes the entire program less exciting.

    I’ll stick to youtube vids in the background or the radio on.

    On a scale from 1-10, I’ll give Spotify a 3 for effort.

    PS – Not to mention, a lot of well known artists and albums are not here. All or nothing is the way I see it.

    ALSO – Spotify adjusts the controls of your computer by not letting you control the computer volume with the hot keys on the keyboard while you are in the Spotify program. They do this because if you turn down the volume on Spotify with the mouse it PAUSES THE ADVERTISEMENT!?!?!?!? That is ridiculous.

  7. Gordon says:

    I think these are fair comments, except for one crucial point: you’re complaining about a free service. Pay and all ads disappear.

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