I was recently invited to sign up for Spotify, an online music service that has been big in Europe for a number of years and is just now coming to America.
So, I signed up. Pretty easy to do. Then, I was somewhat surprised that Spotify is a downloadable application that runs on your computer. I downloaded it, ran the install and fired it up.
Within seconds it was up and running, importing all my music from my iTunes folder. It got everything, except the files Apple DRMed into prison.
The application seems much lighter and faster than iTunes, which is a welcome change. It looks sexy, with a grey/black background and white font. (Makes it harder to read though.) You can see the screenshot below:
Next up, it asked if I wanted to sync my iPhone/iPod or Android device. I wasn’t about to test this on my iPod, so I tried the Android approach. I had to download the Android app to phone and install that. All I had to do was enter my name and password for it to start syncing. Worked great, until it didn’t.
It stopped and complained about memory problems. I looked and there was still plenty of memory available. Turn the app off and on, then an error message about my memory card. Turned in off and on again. Uninstalled and re-installed. Still got the error message. Finally turned the phone off and on and that got it working again.
Spotify tried to push 2500 songs to my Android, which choked as it ran our of memory.
I tried to un-select some play lists thinking that would take them off my Android, but that does not seem to work. Syncing seems to be limited to pushing songs from my PC to the Android phone, not taking them off the Android. Now my memory card is full and I’m not sure what to do.
I do wish the sync would work right. It should add and delete songs from my Android as I select them in the Spotify app. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I don’t know.
I decided to forget the phone for now and check out the Spotify desktop app.
It’s fun to play with. You can listen to just about everything out there music wise, except the Beatles and few others. They insert some ads every now and then but that’s ok. You can get rid of the ads for $5 per month and for $10 you can have the same streaming experience on your mobile device.
Another nice feature is that the system integrates with Facebook so you can share play lists with Facebook friends.
Overall, I liked Spotify a lot, but it’s not quite an iTunes killer until the mobile syncing stuff works much better and without glitches.
iTunes is certainly vulnerable. On my machine, iTunes is bloated, slow and glitchy. It constantly asks to be updated with a cumbersome process. Spotify is slim, fast and aside from the syncing issues seems to work well. However, iTunes still seems to lead on the syncing front, which means I continue to be stuck using iTunes until Spotify works better with my mobile.