I’ve used Spotify in one way or another almost as long as it’s been around. In the early days I’d use it purely for music appraisal, tolerating any adverts imposed on non subscribers and occasionally purchasing a day pass for no adverts (which worked great one NYE). But the adverts became more frequent and more intrusive and free users were later subjected to service restrictions such as shuffle play only and a limited number of skips. This made music appraisal more difficult and when they added suggested tracks into your play queue (with seemingly no correlation to the music you regularly listened to) I’d had enough. Maybe they did all this on purpose, gradually making the free experience less and less palatable with the aim of making you pay for a subscription.
I held out until they tempted me in with a 99p for 3 months offer instead of the usual £9.99. I continued my subscription for another 12 months or so after that, using Spotify Premium everyday on my phone and also regularly at home on the PC in the lounge. There really is a huge selection of music, new and old, just waiting to be listened to – it was great to be able to quickly add a recommendation or a new release to my library for future appraisal. And because there are no physical files, your organisation is limited to save to library or add to playlist – simple! You can even add the same track to multiple playlists. Probably my favourite feature was the ability to follow an artist and be notified of any new releases.
My main problem with Spotify was the gaps in the catalogue. Some artists are missing entirely, others have incomplete discographies. Some things come and go and a lot of stuff is not properly tagged or organised. As a music collector as well as a music lover, I found it frustrating and could not imagine using the service as my only source of music. Also, since ending my sub, the free service seems especially poor in comparison. Worse still, I read that the artists get no payment from plays by non-subscribers.
I’d recommend the premium service to anybody who likes music and can afford £10 a month for the convenience. For now though, I am more than happy listening to my own vast music collection, organising it as I see fit and hopefully slimming it down in the process. Plus, my fricking headphone socket is broke again on my phone, which is half the reason I cancelled anyway.