The App: Spotify
The Device: Anything iOS and Android
The Price: Free to download, but it requires the $10 a month Spotify plan
Why We Love It: A few months back, I sold off all of my physical CDs. I’d be lying if I said Spotify wasn’t a major influence on that decision. Although it’s available in a free, ad-supported version and a $5 monthly subscription that removes the ads, only the $10 monthly subscription gives you access to the Spotify app, giving you access to an insane library of music wherever you go.
The fact that Spotify has essentially replaced my music library (I rarely even open my iTunes anymore!) should tell you how definitive and important this service and this app are to my life. If I’m driving or shopping or at the gym, I never have to worry about whether or not I synced an album…if I want to listen to it, there’s a 98% chance that Spotify has it. Granted, there are some minor downsides. The required internet connection to stream music means that you may lose access on occasion and certain bands (normally those with notorious rights issues like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin) are unavailable, but these are minor quibbles about a service that has changed the way I consume music.
Thanks to Spotify, I’ve discovered music that I never would have given a chance a year ago. Without having to risk my money buying an album in the traditional manner, I’ve dived into artists and genres I’ve wanted to explore for years. I’ve sampled albums that I was unsure about and found myself loving them. For the first time in my life, I could devote myself to music in the same way that I’ve devoted myself to my other hobbies. Spotify isn’t just a convenience, it’s a way of making yourself a better person. It encourages you to take risks and try new things. When you have a world of music at your fingertips, boxing yourself into the same old thing just feels wrong.
For $10 a month, Spotify has taught me how to be a proper music fan. I feel under-charged.
A quick final note: although the service itself is identical across platforms, the iOS and Android Spotify apps look and navigate completely different from one another. Both get the job done, but the iPhone presentation is cleaner, slicker and a bit easier to traverse.