Spotify is relatively the latest music streaming service to hit cyberspace; and is making quite a few waves. Within a few months of launch the service has crossed more than half a million users, albeit it being available only on invitation basis in a handful of European countries such as Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Finland and Sweden. So what exactly is Spotify? How does it work and what’s so great about it? It’s essentially a tiny streaming service for PC or Mac. After creating an account, you simply type the name of the track or album you want and within five seconds you can listen to the music you asked for. Practically, no song is ever far away from you. Services such as Last.fm on the other hand only give you similar songs to the one you asked for. Besides, Spotify’s repertoire of music quite vast – tipping the scales at around 8 million songs. What is more unique about this service is that it’s free and completely legal. This due to Spotify’s deals in place with the four major record labels of the world and not to mention the thousands of independent labels it has on its rolls. What’s unfolding is probably the last leg of the battle between the music industry and music piracy.
Some online blogs even likened Spotify to a lemonade stall run by the music industry that’s giving out free lemonade. Well of course it’s not all free. There is a premium paid version that plays tracks without ads. Otherwise listeners have to bear ads after about eight or nine tracks. The application itself is extremely easy to use. Its got fields such as recommendations and top artists, and top charts. In short, the whole works. No wonder regional and invitation restrictions haven’t stopped anyone from using it. There are several reports of invitations being hawked at inviteshare.com and lots of users accessing it through proxy servers that mask the user’s location. The service works on a unique hybrid p2p system that streams data from its own servers as well as other listeners