Spotify also ‘became friends’ with Facebook (i.e. entered a commercial arrangement) in September 2011. It means new users must have a Facebook profile. Previously existing users can link to Facebook and Twitter but they don’t have to. It’s easy to set-up an account, including paid options, and you can stop or restart payments any month without losing stored playlists. Spotify uses a desktop application for Windows, PC and, unofficially, Linux. Premium customers can download a slick phone app with useful offline playback.
Pure Music runs mainly through its website. At the time of testing there’s one sample month but no ongoing free option. It costs £4.99, matching Spotify Unlimited, and you are not compelled to use Facebook. There are non-subscription aspects to the Lounge, which has been around since 2009; you can buy tracks or albums and stream them to compatible Pure radios. Alternatively, some Pure radios feature Pure Tag, a built-in Shazam-based music ID software that enables music purchasing from the device or later from the tagged listing using the website.
Pure's Sensia includes Pure Tag music identification and purchasing from the device
Pure Music expands on that by streaming from an online catalogue using the browser, a suitable Pure Radio or an Android or iOS mobile. In contrast to Spotify, it doesn’t cost more to access its smartphone version, however, there’s no offline caching so beware of data use. As of February 2012 the apps are free to install, but only for a limited period.
Spotify’s desktop program is generally well laid out and user friendly. Its punchy white text on 70 per cent black is different to the pale, desaturated look of Pure Music, which shows a heavy iTunes influence.
Later in 2011 Spotify added a selection of free apps within the program, acting as shortcuts to curated playlists from the likes of Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and The Guardian. On top of the subscriber-only Artist Radio feature (recommended tracks using a chosen singer or band as a starting point), it’s a handy way to discover new things. The related artist recommendations are largely accurate and helpful. For example, look up Radiohead and it suggests Jeff Buckley, REM, David Bowie and more.
To buy something, click ‘get’ in the program and verify your password. Individual tracks can be starred for finding later or saved into playlists, which can be shared among the Spotify community. In a controversial move, sharing new playlists and what you’re listening to is now active by default. There’s a private listening mode and more permanent settings in user preferences.
Next page: Music and movement
I've used Spotify for a while now, got to be at least a couple of years, and for all of that I've been paying for the £4.99 package except for the first month I discovered the service.
Music does disappear, and I wish they'd post something about it rather than having it just "go grey" in your list. Sometimes when my complete playlist is on random it's months until I finally realise something I was listening to hasn't played for ages.
It is also missing the majority of stuff by some of my favourite artists such as Metallica, Lacuna Coil, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others. Unfortunately for said artists, their lack of appearance on Spotify doesn't make me go out and buy their CDs, it just makes me annoyed they're not on there and determined not to give them any money.
Overall, despite the missing music and artists, I wouldn't be without it. Much preferable to buying CDs, and much more convenient than pirating. Yes, I am a reformed freetard, which will no doubt earn me the ire of some of the more rabid commenters on here, but this is exactly what I was waiting for.
Now all I need is for Netflix or LoveFilm to actually have a decent selection of stuff on their streaming service and I'll subscribe to that to!
I've got a load of albums/tracks that I downloaded with my Premium Spotify membersip which over time have disappeared .... sometimes whole albums, sometime one or two tracks from an album on occasionally find an album with only 1 remaining track.
Any device, anywhere
I hope this move by pure might make Spotify think again about charging a premium for mobile access. The device, the 'where' and the 'how' are irrelevant.
You should definitely demand a refund!
Seriously though, can you give an example of a track that's gone? I'm curious to see if I can still get it on the premium service.
Couldn't agree more. I used to be a Spotify Premium user, but thought 'why not spend that money on actually buying CDs?'. It's better for me, and it is certainly better for the artists - and I don't have to worry about whether I can get an adequate signal when on the move - the usual answer outside London being 'no'.