A Big Pot O’ Music

Have you heard about Spotify? I got very excited late last week to find out that Spotify had finally launched in the US. Spotify is pretty popular in Europe, and I’ve been watching for over a year to see if it would come to our shores.

For those not familiar, Spotify is a new way to listen to music. It’s like having access to a jukebox of over 15,000,000 songs that you can play whenever you want. It’s like having free access to the iTunes music store. If you ever used Lala before Apple destroyed it, it’s a lot like Lala without stipulations on how many times you can play a song.

There are three levels of users with the lowest level being free and ad supported. I actually signed up for the Premium level which is their highest level. It’s $9.99 a month and lets me store music offline and on my iPhone. This also gives me the highest audio quality available which is better than Amazon’s MP3’s and the iTunes store. I figure I spend at least that much every month on an album so this was a no-brainer for me.

Here’s the thing. As an audio engineer I am always listening to a ton of music and not just for enjoyment. The great thing about Spotify is it gives me access to an enormous catalog of music so that I can listen to mix trends in genres I don’t normally listen to. It also gives me access to a lot of classic albums that I’ve never really listened to. I have a pretty good size music library at home, but it doesn’t come close to Spotify’s.

For example, on Sunday I was sitting in the green room talking with one of our guitarists about music. I know, go figure. Steely Dan came up, and I mentioned I’ve never listened to much Steely Dan. They’re just not my thing, but I’ve always wanted to listen to a bit more since their records are pretty renown for the engineering. So I pulled out my phone and added some Steely Dan to a playlist which then started downloading immediately to my phone.

Here’s another example. I like to put together playlists of music mixed by some of my favorite mixers like Bob Clearmountain, Michael Brauer, and Andy Wallace. Spotify gives me access to a lot more of their mixes, and I’ve been able to enrich those playlists with stuff that I wouldn’t want to necessarily purchase.

The other night I watched Standing in the Shadows of Motown so afterwards I was in a bit of a Motown mood. Now I have a ton of Motown on my iPhone that I’ve been listening to this week.

Right now Spotify is invite only if you want to try it out without paying, but I asked the folks at Spotify for some invites and they gave me a few to give away. If you would like to give Spotify a try, simply leave a comment below with a valid email address. I’ll start giving them out later today until they’re all gone.

UPDATE – Saturday July 30: I have a few more invites available. Comment if you’d like one.

UPDATE 2 – Sunday July 31: I’m out of invites again. I will tweet if I get any more.


David Stagl

2 Responses to “A Big Pot O’ Music

  • Beau Brown
    13 years ago

    I’ve been using it for a couple weeks and love that I can listen to and share playlists and have access anywhere. Like Dave, I like listening to mixes from specific engineers and now have tons more access to those resources. I’ve even talked about getting an account for our church so we can share pre/post service playlists across all campuses. What other ways can you think of to use it? Thanks for sharing Dave!

  • I actually used it last week to do some research. We did a parody of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as an opener to celebrate kids going back to school, and I pulled up a half dozen different versions in Spotify to get some different ideas of how the song had been done over the years.