Spotify Features - dummies

By Kim Gilmour

Spotify is helping to make universal, instant accessibility to all music possible, whether you’re on your mobile device or desktop computer. Facebook helped people reconnect with old friends and make new ones, and Spotify’s helping people rediscover songs from their youth and discover fresh music through friends and search.

Get instant music with Spotify

You can start playing Spotify tracks almost straightaway, as if you were playing a CD — even though the music’s coming from the Internet. Spotify’s technical boffins have worked hard to make the listening process immediate.

Who needs a digital file for every single thing you listen to, when Spotify can help free up precious space on your computer’s hard drive by serving up your tunes instead? You’ll rarely run into any jumps or skips when listening to Spotify music this way.

That’s not to say the streaming is flawless every time, but it is very impressive. And you can so easily forget that you aren’t listening to music you have on your computer or on a disc.

Create playlists with Spotify

At the center of the Spotify universe is the playlist, which is like the mixtape of old, letting you create a group of your favorite tracks dedicated to a certain theme, era, genre, artist, or whatever you want. On Spotify, you’re encouraged to turn albums into playlists so that you can listen to tracks as the artist originally intended.

Playlists can also be created to complement a piece of news. For example, when the coveted Mercury Music Prize 2011 nominees were announced, a member of the popular Spotify community site posted a link containing all tracks from the nominees’ albums in one convenient list.

With one click, you could load the albums into Spotify right away and start playing them.


Listen to Spotify on other devices

Premium subscribers have the ultimate Spotify experience because they can listen to any Spotify music on their compatible mobile devices. Spotify supports offline syncing, so you can save tracks to your phone and listen to them in Offline mode without incurring huge data charges.

Premium subscribers can also listen to Spotify in hi-fi through sound systems made by manufacturers such as Sonos, Onkyo, and Logitech by logging into Spotify through these devices. And anyone can stream music to existing speakers if they have the right connections.

Playing local files on Spotify

The future may be all about renting your music collection, but there are still plenty who have stored their favorite digital files on their computers. Spotify indexes the local files on your computer and displays them in a convenient list.

Most common file formats are supported, and you need never open another music player again. You can create playlists that contain a combination of local files on your computer and tracks from Spotify’s own library, giving you the best of both worlds. Spotify lets you listen to music without hearing a distinction between the local track and the streaming track.

Share new music discoveries with Spotify

Sharing music helps you discover new acts. When you hear something exciting and new, your friends are usually the first people you tell — Spotify lets you do that easily. You can actively share links, or you can passively publish your playlists to your public Spotify profile and leave it to your mates to dig around in your listening library.

Spotify is closely tied into Facebook, so you don’t need to put in much effort building yet another social network — all your Spotify friends on Facebook are listed there for you. On Facebook, just click the Music icon on the left-hand sidebar to see everything your friends are listening to on Spotify (and other music services).

You can even listen to Spotify tracks from Facebook, as long as you have Spotify open on your computer.

And if you’re an unsigned act who’s put your music onto Spotify, then you can easily promote yourself by using a music-distribution service that has partnered up with Spotify.

Branch out from Spotify with third-party resources

Spotify has a committed, dedicated fan base. A huge number of Spotify blogs, services, and apps can help you make the most of Spotify while Spotify itself is busy concentrating on what it does best: delivering music to you. The main aim with most of these resources is to make it easy for you to discover new kinds of music.