|Home » Learning Curve » Red Hat Diaries
What a Way...
To start the day.
The sun is out. The skies are clear. The earth is warming up. First thing every morning is to start this app. Put on the headphones, get a good playlist going, get to work.
Something starts blinking. Look to the top of the window and see it. Whoa. Where did that come from?
No matter. Time to figure out who's in the fortunate zone and send out invites.
Spotify's no secret exactly. The buzz is growing. Dynamically.
Here's a few links.
1. Technorati's collection.
'Touted by Big Music as the future of digital music consumption, Spotify lets users search for music on major and indie labels alike, and listen to full albums for free. All without the threat of the RIAA knocking on the door.'
2. Revenue Addict goes bananas over it.
'I'm not a fanatical music lover I have to say, I listen to it and I do like it but I'm not an addict like some, however I do use iTunes, have a couple of ipods and buy probably 20/30 albums per year.
'That was up until Wednesday when Shak fired me a link over for a beta test of Spotify, He had mentioned it a while back when were skiving in some far flung place so was aware it was being developed but didn't realise it was as big as deal as it is, it's a start up involving some known guys such as the ever smiling ex CJ UK front man Jonathan Forster and a whole host of Swedish ex Tradedoubler and inter web knowledgeable guys with way too many vowels in their names.
'I installed it and fired it up, looked a bit like iTunes, but much less cluttered, I clicked the first album listed there and it just started playing instantly.. so I skipped it ahead by dragging the timeline bar and it let go, it just instantly (again) started playing from there.. all good so far.'
'Basically Spotify is like having a share folder on your computer to EMI, UMG, Sony BMG, WMG, etc. record companies, it's got all the music you could ever want to listen to, even foreign music, there are millions of tracks that you can stream all day long as much as you want however many times you want to all for free.'
'I really can not see how iTunes, as good as it is, can compete...
'The Spotify team have pulled together an amazing product, it's going to explode across the web like an ebola outbreak but in a fun way.'
3. The Red Ferret Journal declares 'the free music war is over and we won'.
'OK, so today I'm going to declare it. The free music war is over, we won, the RIAA and music industry dinosaurs are licked. Forget all the stuff still going on in the courts, the RIAA press releases, they're all smoke screen. It's done, folks. Music is free. The battle is now about who controls the access and how it's monetized, and that's a completely different thing.
'The reason for my, some would say foolish, pronouncement is Spotify, which is a new European music service from Sweden currently running in private beta. I was just sent an invite and I've got to say it's astounding. Think Pandora mixed in with Last.FM, with a dash of imeem and a dollop of iTunes sauce, but better. It's hard to put your finger on what exactly makes it so wow, but at a stab I'd say it's the combination of unrestricted access to a fabulous huge A-list catalogue and a no hassle, versatile, consume as much as you want streaming player.
'You get artist bios, album cover art and all that stuff too of course, but get this. How many free music services have you come across which feature complete discographies with every track of every album that's playable in full? No really, just find the album, track or artist you want - the database seems huge - and bingo you've got access to everything they've ever done, on compilations, unplugged, live sessions... just astonishing.
'Oh and you don't have to worry about setting up playlists or being limited to listening to a track a certain number of times or any of that rubbish. Just click on any track and the program will automatically set up a playlist of ALL that artists tracks sorted by popularity. You can listen again and again, add to your fave playlist, set up a new moody playlist and so on. And there's an automatically populated artist radio which streams similar genre tracks associated with your fave artist, just click and listen. Hey, stop dribbling, it's unseemly.
'But you know what is so absolutely brilliant about the whole thing? It's addictive, and means that you will INEVITABLY find new music that you love and want to buy. It's what we've been trying to explain to the music industry all along, take away the hassle of enjoying music and the demand for it will rise not fall, at which point their challenge is to monetize it properly. What a supreme irony that a service like this comes out of Sweden, home to the infamous Pirate Bay!!? Laugh?
'So really that's it, the future of music. iTunes, Amazon and the rest of the traditional music retail services are really now facing their own moment of decision, as services like this are inevitably going to multiply over time. The licensing issues seem to have been removed, and what with the recent Comes With Music service from Nokia - another all you can eat music service for mobile phones - it looks like the music industry has finally realised in earnest that it's a new millennium and time for a new consumer model. Awesome.'
4. Swedish Fokus find the music industry like Internet jukeboxes.
'The Swedish music service Spotify was released recently and Stim and most of the major recording companies support it. Even IFPI are behind it. 'They don't offer the customer a way to consume but instead a whole bouquet of solutions where you choose yourself', says IFPI CEO Ludvig Werner.'
5. Mainstream SvD call it 'simple, brilliant - and free'.
'It costs $2000 to fill an 8 GB iPod. On the average an iPod has 4% legal tracks. And each track is made into at least 20 pirate copies. But easy! Now all music is legal and free at Spotify. The ownership model has been transformed into one of accessibility. The future is here.'
6. Music Ally offer a 'hands on' with Spotify.
'There should be a new gold standard for judging the success or appeal of any new music service. It's all about ease of use, intuitiveness and general user-friendliness. In short, does it just work, without you having to think too much about what you're doing and how you're doing it.
'We've been hearing some rave reviews about Spotify since it launched earlier this month. It offers streaming music from all four major labels, as well as indie distributor The Orchard and rights body Merlin. In short, it seems those rave reports were on the mark. Spotify is a service to watch out for.'
7. Mainstream DN (Sweden's biggest daily) declare Spotify 'Apple's nightmare'.
'These past weeks, right in worst of the credit crunch, Spotify pulled in another $25 million from investors.'
8. Aftonbladet's Markus Larsson says Spotify can be the 'future of rock'.
'I have seen the future of rock.'
9. The Independent speculate this can be the end of the iPod.
'A music streaming service that will allow you to choose any tracks from the history of recorded music and listen to them immediately, legally, and for free: this has been a futuristic dream for a number of years but it's only in the past 12 months that it has become a real possibility. The biggest stumbling block has been resistance from a music industry desperate to preserve the value of music by selling us copies of recordings - but this is increasingly unrealistic, according to Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify.'
10. The Independent name Spotify as one of the music websites of the year.
11. Swedish Dagens Industri test Spotify.
'Only recently released but already creating a buzz, Spotify gained supporters fast. And our tests also show it impressive. The new music service Spotify has succeeded with something few other Internet services have done - get the support of users and the industry both.'
12. Even CNET's noticed.
'Spotify is a lean, downloadable application that lets users stream music instantly from its library - a library built with the blessing of EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and some smaller record labels. Judging from comments on TorrentFreak, Digg, and TechCrunch, the service seems to have impressed people who have tried it with its speed, usability, and depth of songs.'
13. The Mail on Sunday's Rob Waugh calls Spotify 'the real deal' and shows he really 'gets it'.
'Spotify is the first free music site that lives up to the buzz.
'The web is crawling with snake oil salesmen offering free music but with a catch: adverts embedded into the tracks, ferocious copy protection, or an empty site with notices explaining that millions of tracks will be available shortly.
'It comes as a shock to find Spotify is the real deal. Just about every mainstream artist is there, with dozens or even hundreds of free tracks that play as easily as songs within your own iTunes library. It took quite a while to get over a nagging fear that a window would suddenly appear saying 'Free Trial Over' - but it doesn't.
'Even the free option is mercifully light on commercials: Spotify is aiming for the same level of advertising as radio. Once you're signed up you simply download the neat, minimal Spotify software, search by artist, album or track, and start playing.
'You'll need a broadband connection: the music 'streams' to your PC or Mac, rather than downloading. This crucial detail keeps the lawyers at bay. The site has done deals with Universal, EMI, Sony BMG and Warner on the basis that no one keeps the music. Legally speaking, Spotify is like radio, except you choose what's on.
'Using it feels exactly like buying an album but without that inconvenient part where you pay. Once you've brought up an artist or an album, you can listen to any track or even skip about within tracks. It's fast, stable, and never stutters, courtesy of some very smart streaming technology under the bonnet.
'Spotify feels just too good to be true. It has delivered real, free music, and the sites that sell you downloads at £1 a track must be nervously watching this young start-up.'
14. SvD back again saying Spotify are competing with the 'pirates'.
'The story of Spotify spread like wildfire in the blogosphere. At the time of release 100,000 people were queueing for a Spotify invite.'
Wow. That's a lot to read. Especially if you click through all the links. What to do now? Figure out who to give these invites to.
Clipothèque now supports Spotify.
IDG.se: Alla vill jobba med Spotify
Developers Workshop: #3 Killer App
Industry Watch: Spotify Concept Video
Industry Watch: The Spotify Bandwagon
Software Reviews: The Good: Spotify 0.3.9 (36574)