Having spent a day with Spotify perusing its features and checking out what it has to offer I feel that it’s a good first step at creating some competition to Itunes. After getting an invite in my email I downloaded the software, which was quick, installed fine and had no issues. When you first start the program you’re greeted with a login box.
Once you’ve logged in you’re taken to a familiar interface, if you’re using the free version like I am, you’ll see ads, if you’re on the pay version there will not be any advertisements. On the right side is an opportunity to log into Facebook and share your playlists with friends and see what playlists they have available. This is a neat idea taken from the social aspects that have taken over the internet lately, though ultimately I feel like it will be an underused feature that takes up a portion of the page unless you close it to get back the space.
Aside from that the standard features are all there, playlists, adding to playlists via right click, access to local files, the ability to sync devices and manage local files and add favorites, here called starred and last.fm scrobbling. Nothing about it seems too earth shattering or unexpected leaving an overall clean interface.
Searching for new music is fairly easy and while they have a lot of US music some of the foreign music I do tend to listen to is not available, which I am suspecting is due to licensing issues. The search functionality did crash on me a few times last night, which may be related to updates or the crush of introducing a new service.
As far as negatives go there aren’t many glaring negatives. Sometimes the ads cause glitch which forces me to restart the service, this is the most major functionally damaging issue. They have no browse by category feature, so if you don’t know what you’re looking for or it’s not currently popular you’re not going to find any new music. A big improvement would also be the addition of a radio type feature such as Pandora that adds new music based upon starred selections, so you’re not just stuck with playlists for long play times.
The service currently has a few options for accounts. The free version comes ad supported and doesn’t allow saving files for offline mode. The pay version starts at $4.99 a month allows ad free browsing and international play for longer than 14 days. The premium version is where a large bump comes in at $9.99 and includes mobile play as well as offline play of up to 3,000 songs streaming of your files to your mobile devices, “enhanced audio”, bonus content and audio device integration such as Sonos or Squeezebox. If the price is worth it depends on how much of an audiophile you are. While it would seem to be a fairly decent deal, I think with a radio type feature I think that it would be truly a product worthy of the price.
Edit: Seems like things are still shaking out as Rammstein has become available for playing for me, so I suspect more bands and features are on their way.
One too many errors with the ubiquity installer made me go with and Arch Linux install with an Enlightenment Window Manager setup. Let me tell you this bad boy is humming. It’s ridiculously fast for a P3 933mhz comp with only 512K RAM. Way faster than the crawling Dell Optiplex I have to use at work and that has double the RAM running XP. Arch is billed as an elite OS, and it is super fast with a lot of packages in the repository and I haven’t even touched the AUR. There’s a bit more searching, but everything is pretty well documented, so far I am pretty excited about how it looks and responds.
I am working on getting a ‘nix distro to install on an old Dell Optiplex that one of the local municipalities mercifully upgraded. The original computer came with a whopping 128K of RAM, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get anything to run, except for the XP that came on the hard drive. I then cannibalized another computer that came from the same batch to upgrade to 256K of RAM at which point I was able to get DSL up and running as a live install and even managed to get WattOS to crawl along on it, however no dice on the Bodhi disc for either the 1.0 or 1.1 release. Currently I have upgraded to 512K RAM to set this up with WattOS and use it as a cloud computer in the lab, which is almost set up and raring to go, as soon as I fix the entry way support that is. Will update when I have the WattOS install up and running.
Just posting my obligatory hello world post to tumblr