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CNET First Look
SpotifyIs Spotify's music software worth the hype, or is it just another iTunes wannabe? Senior Editor Donald Bell goes hands-on and demonstrates the software's unique social network features.
Hey, I'm Donald Bell, and today we're taking a long awaited first look at Spotify, a free streaming music application for Mac and PC. Here's what all the fuzzes about. After installing the software, Spotify puffs up and the shows the hybrid your computers music collection and an online database full of songs and albums that you can stream at no cost. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet of unlimited music streams both the majors and indies living right alongside your personal music collection. So, whether it's the Rolling Stones or some of horrible no cache of song, you can just type it in, and you're immediately listening to full songs and albums. You can keep a record of your favorite tracts by giving them a star. You can also create playlist of your favorite tracts even if they are a mix of MP3s and songs from Spotify. Now, what makes Spotify so viral is that it pulls in any friends from Facebook who also using Spotify. From here, you can check out what they're listening to as well as their favorite tracts and playlist. On your end, you can manage what songs and playlist can be seen by others. Now, if you find some great tract and you wanna shout it out to the world, you can also hit the share button and blast it out to all of your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or messenger. That link will take them to the full song stream if they already have Spotify or it will prompt them to download the software. You get enough people sharing and you can see how Spotify gets popular very quickly. So, what's the catch, well, ultimately Spotify wants to get you on a paid account. Free users are granted 6 months of unlimited access to the entire Spotify catalogue, but after that, Spotify will lay down some restrictions on how much you can stream. Free users will also have to put up some audio adds between tracts. Fortunately, Spotify isn't asking much from its paid subscribers. For $5 a month, you're back to unlimited playback on any computer add free. For 10 dollars a month, you also get the ability to cache your favorite tunes and playlist offline plus you can use their mobile up, which can also cache your favorites for offline listening. All in all it's a great service and a free option is so compelling. It's hard not to recommend. It's addictive though. So, if you don't have an afternoon to kill listening music, you should save it for another day. For cnet.com, I'm Donald Bell.