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Friday
Jul152011

Music Streaming Service Spotify Launches in US

Spotify(NEW YORK) -- Spotify, a Swedish online music-on-demand service, has an impressive group of followers, including Mark Zuckerberg and 10 million European subscribers.

For years, American tech aficionados have been clamoring for its arrival in the U.S., and on Thursday they got their wish.  Warner Music Group teamed up with Spotify to launch the site in the U.S., allowing its users to stream any music they want from its library of 15 million songs.

The site has a combination of services you can pay for in order to keep your music ad free. Free services -- which you need to be invited to -- are ad-supported.  Requesting the free service is as easy as entering your email address on their website.

So is Spotify the future of music?  It is being hailed as the 21st century solution to our music listening needs.  What is the big deal behind Spotify?

"Any song, any time, anywhere," said Joe Brown, editor-in-chief of tech blog Gizmodo.  "As lives are increasingly interconnected, it becomes more and more unrealistic to store your music on a specific device.  Spotify represents today's demands of music listening."

Available to all users, Spotify's catalog of 15 million songs is unmatched by the iTunes store's one million tracks and the libraries of any other music streaming service.

Additionally, if you want to listen to something that isn't in its catalog, you can seamlessly integrate your music on the local hard-drive to the Spotify library.  Essentially, it can replace your current existing music library such as iTunes.  Spotify allows its users to select what they want to listen to, whenever, beginning a song in 200 milliseconds.

Unlike some of its competitors, Spotify is an on-demand service.

But all good things come with a price.  Spotify users only have access to the "anywhere" feature that makes Spotify truly exceptional with a monthly subscription fee.

With the Unlimited package option, a user can not only access Spotify's extensive catalog on the go, but also cache songs on a mobile device without Internet.  Gizmodo's Brown clarifies that while other services such as Rdio offer that offline cache ability, Spotify one-ups them in speed and effectiveness.

Spotify's three service options are: Premium (unlimited web streaming with no advertisements; $4.99/mo), unlimited (Premium with mobile access and offline mode for playlists;$9.99) and free (ad-supported, free streaming on the web).

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ABC News Radio