Spotify Anyone?
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zotjen

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Has anyone here in the U.S. tried Spotify yet? If so, what are your impressions? I requested an invite weeks ago but of course I haven't gotten one yet. I'm thinking of springing for the premium membership to get the 320 kbps streaming but I was hoping to check it out first to see what their selection is like. And then of course there's always the worry that if they go belly up at some point you lose everything you have.
 
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bloop

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I'm just using the 160 kbps free version, and it is very nice. It's certainly missing some things, but you're always going to have that with a legitimate service.
 
Cool that you're from Middlesex, btw. I used to teach up there.
 
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zotjen

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If anyone wants an invite, try this link:
 
http://www.spotify.com/us/coca-cola/
 
It worked last night, and unlike some other invites, you only have to share your email address with Coca-Cola, who indicate they won't share it with anyone else. Other invites I've seen were too much of a hassle (e.g. you have to give them permission to access to all your Facebook info).
 
So far I've only played with Spotify a little bit. My biggest gripe so far is that the interface could be a lot more friendlier. I'll need to play around with it a little more. I've also had issues playing certain songs. They just don't play for some reason. I was surprised at some of the stuff I found while searching so it looks like they have a pretty good catalog. I'll probably decide whether or not to get a premium membership after I've used it for a while. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the social aspect of it as it uses Facebook, so if you select to use it everyone in Spotify has access to your name and picture. I guess though that using it is the best way to discover new music and access other playlists.
 
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bloop

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My biggest gripe is that playback isn't gapless. That really hurts songs that segue neatly into the next.
 
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Head Injury

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I got in last night. I've used it to sample a couple albums and artists suggested here. Pretty awesome. No buffering time, fast searching, easy to queue up an album and listen through it. I've gotten only one ad so far.
 
Apparently us U.S. citizens are going to lose free unlimited streaming in a couple weeks, so use it while you can. I don't plan on ever paying for a streaming service, but I'll still use it to check out individual songs now and then.
 
http://spotibot.com/playlist/ <-- That might be of interest if you're trying to find new artists.
 
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Markon101

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I just bought the premium service, and I love it so far. The sound quality is as good as streaming gets right now!

 
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Also just bought Premium (I am already a Pandora One subscriber) and agree that both sound quality and selection is top notch. I emailed support and all Premium coding should be at least 256k now and they are in process of getting everything up to 320.
 
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Quote:
I just bought the premium service, and I love it so far. The sound quality is as good as streaming gets right now!


Agreed.  The sound quality is very impressive. 
But for me, what is even more impressive is how quickly songs begin playing!  I don't notice any significant difference playing a local song  vs. one that is streaming.
Don't know how they do it.
 
I tried Rdio and the difference was night and day in terms of waiting for songs to start playing.
 
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Quote:
Also just bought Premium (I am already a Pandora One subscriber) and agree that both sound quality and selection is top notch. I emailed support and all Premium coding should be at least 256k now and they are in process of getting everything up to 320.


Hmm maybe I should get the Premium too. I'm currently using the free subscription and it's a bit lacking.
 
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It's not too bad.  It's great for listening at work and previewing potential purchases. Not good enough for me to stop buying CDs.  I'll be sad if isn't free anymore.
 
Is there any chance we will see a lossless streaming service one day?
 
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zotjen

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Quote:
It's not too bad.  It's great for listening at work and previewing potential purchases. Not good enough for me to stop buying CDs.  I'll be sad if isn't free anymore.
 
Is there any chance we will see a lossless streaming service one day?

The problem with lossless streaming is obviously bandwidth. It would probably get pretty costly for the service providing the streaming and on the user end, I can see more and more ISPs moving towards bandwidth limits.
 
 
 
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sonance

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Quote:
Quote:

The problem with lossless streaming is obviously bandwidth. It would probably get pretty costly for the service providing the streaming and on the user end, I can see more and more ISPs moving towards bandwidth limits.
 
 

Not so sure about this - my Netflix streaming is always > 1mbit/s, and usually hovers around 3mbit/s for $8/month. FLAC / ALAC should be ~800kbit, and completely lossless PCM streaming would still be ~1.4mbit. Nowadays, this level of bandwidth is more of an issue for client than streaming services, although the cost is not totally insignificant, if they got > $2-$3 per customer on average, it would be a non-issue cost-wise in the US & Europe (not sure about elsewhere).
 
 
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sbradley02

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IMO the issue is more one of demand.
The vast majority of the public just don't care about sound quality. Proof positive is that people are overwhelmingly moving towards streaming video over renting discs despite the higher quality available via DTS DVD and Blu-Ray lossless compression.
With low demand the business model just doesn't make sense.
I would love to be proven wrong on this...
 
Quote:
Not so sure about this - my Netflix streaming is always > 1mbit/s, and usually hovers around 3mbit/s for $8/month. FLAC / ALAC should be ~800kbit, and completely lossless PCM streaming would still be ~1.4mbit. Nowadays, this level of bandwidth is more of an issue for client than streaming services, although the cost is not totally insignificant, if they got > $2-$3 per customer on average, it would be a non-issue cost-wise in the US & Europe (not sure about elsewhere).
 


 
 
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tdogzthmn

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I have the Premium version and comparing it to my 96/24 bit tracks the sound is good enough to give me satisfaction.  For the vast majority of people I suspect they will really enjoy using it.  The main advantage is portable listening and  have access to a vast collection on the go is quite amazing. 
 
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