On average I easily listen to anywhere between three to five hours of music a day. Be it while commuting to work, sitting at the office or back at home, you are most likely to find me with my headphones on and songs playing. My music preferences span across genres and my playlists include a diverse collection of materials ranging from indie, rock, alternative, pop, electronic, progressive, EDM and much more. So it is safe to assume that I can be considered a “music lover”.
For the longest time my primary means of playing back music is either through the computer / notebook or via my iPod Classic 160GB. I have resolutely refused to start using my smartphone as a portable music playing device, simply because it does not have enough storage capacity. However, the launch of Spotify is making me reconsider my stance.
Rather than listen to single tracks, I prefer to go through entire albums from start to finish. My music collection tends to include the entire discographies (rarities, live recording and bootlegs included) for selected artists. Smartphones just do not have the requisite storage capacity to fully store my entire collection. Spotify however provides a handy solution to this problem. Signing up for the music streaming service instantly puts 20 million songs at your disposal, including full albums. As an “active” listener, someone who seeks out music of his choice and needs the exact track he wants instantly, this repository is a definite draw.
Before Spotify, I had tried using Google Music on the smartphone to combat the inherent storage issues of the device. However, sheer laziness on my part meant that I would not upload new music that I procured onto the service and hence it would not be available to me when and where I wanted. Spotify definitely one ups Google Music in this regard thanks to its partnership with content owners. All new albums are almost instantly uploaded onto the platform, without any action required on the part of the user, making them available to listener on release day.
To be honest, I made the switch from higher quality formats to 320kbps MP3 a while back. I still maintain a CD collection for my absolute favorite albums and for days when I feel like setting time aside for some serious listening. But for background everyday playback, 320kbps MP3 is perfectly adequate. Not to mention that maintaining a FLAC library eats up hard disk space extremely quickly. If you spring for a Spotify premium you can enjoy playback in 320kbps Ogg Vorbis format. Personally I find the playback at Spotify to meet my standards of playback.
In addition, Spotify can also be augmented to meet the more serious listener’s needs. You can install third party addons and plugins to enhance the service. My personal favourite at present is Equalify, which adds an equalizer to the interface allowing you to tweak the sound according to your preferences. But the real kicker is the price. A premium account, which provides unlimited streaming for computer and mobile devices, is just S$9.90 which is slightly cheaper than both US and Europe accounts. If your expenditure on music on a monthly basis easily exceeds that, you may want to seriously consider getting a Spotify account yourself. Sure you may not "own" the content forever, but it will always be there at your fingertips whenever you need it, which is good enough for me.
Hurrairah bin Sohail / Former Tech Writer
Good tech has good specs, great tech has personality. Keeping that in mind, Hurrairah expects character and performance from any gadget he spends his hard earned cash on. As a guitar player and 'struggling' musician, he has an appreciation for natural sound is tasked with reviewing speaker systems.