Spotify Download Basics - dummies

Spotify Download Basics

By Kim Gilmour

All tracks purchased from Spotify appear on a dedicated Download page, accessible from the Downloads option on the left sidebar. They are also stored in a dedicated Downloads folder — by default, the Music folder in your Windows or Mac Library. You can easily change the location of your downloads in Spotify’s Preferences.

From your Downloads folder, you can do what you want with the files — burn them to a CD, put them on an MP3 player that isn’t supported by Spotify syncing, or just back them up to a drive for safekeeping.

The MP3 files are encoded at a top-quality bitrate of 320 Kbps (a small proportion of the catalogue, less than 5 percent, is available at 256 Kbps — but even this bitrate should provide more than enough quality in sound).

All downloads are DRM-free, meaning the tracks have no copy restrictions (DRM stands for digital rights management, a way for labels to restrict digital tracks from being transferred to many devices). Being DRM-free means you can copy them to all your computers and devices.

The download option is particularly useful if you’re a Spotify Free account holder and have either run out of your monthly listening allowance or have frustratingly come to the end of your lifetime five-times-per-track listening limit.

Spotify Unlimited or Premium subscribers may not have as much need to download tracks as Free users because they have constant access to a massive library as long as they keep up their subscriptions.

But every Spotify subscriber has the option — if you really love an album or playlist, and want to keep it forever, or you want to put together an old-school compilation CD and burn tracks to it, then you can buy the MP3 so that you can do that.