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Spotify v. Pure Music

On-line tunesmiths sounded out

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Music and movement

Spotify’s mobile app works on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, Palm and Symbian. It seamlessly syncs to the main application and you can star tracks and add or edit playlists, as on the desktop. If you have Shazam you can also link to hear a song again via Spotify.

Pure Music web playback

Pure Music web playback
Click for a larger image

Pure Music’s web portal is conventional, rather cluttered and less intuitive than Spotify, though it’s been around for much less time, so it may get better. There is no ‘artist radio’ feature but it suggests similar things, again quite effectively and often with a broader range. For Radiohead it recommended Mogwai and PJ Harvey, besides more obvious names.

You can buy any of the tracks for keeps or simply use playlists, as with Spotify. If you’re listening on one of Pure’s radios or with the mobile app you can’t buy streamed tracks, so the system needs a bit more development, as well as bug fixes.

Spotify Music app Pure Music app

Spotify and Pure Music apps

At the moment purchasing can only be done on the website – a tablet or mobile browser such as Dolphin will work if its user agent is set as a desktop. The Sensia is an exception though, Pure’s radios aren’t great for browsing the catalogue because lots of information is stripped to fit small displays. Still, a benefit compared to Spotify is that multiple devices connected to one network and account can play different songs simultaneously.

Not everything, past or present, is available on Spotify but it has a large and growing library of at least 16 million tracks. Premium subscribers also get exclusive access to certain early releases. Not every label or artist’s management are happy with Spotify. As a result there are some omissions, a high profile example being Adele’s 21, but given that it’s in constant rotation on nearly all radio stations, is that so bad?

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