First Ikea, now tunes
It isn't every day that an online music provider really makes ripples — let alone waves.
After all, they're a dime a dozen. From the ubiquitous iTunes (with its iCloud possibilities and its half-hearted social network Ping) to the well-loved subscription-only Rhapsody to the streaming customization of Pandora to iHeart Radio to Last.fm to Rdio — oh my!
There's certainly no shortage of digital melody makers out there for you to choose from.
But there's actually something to de-bud your ears for when it comes to Spotify. The Swedish musical maven seemingly combines everything you love about listening to borrowed music in every location where you want to listen — and it's finally landed on U.S. cyber soil.
Featuring free, premium, and unlimited options, Spotify aims to colonize the American music scene and implement an international new order. The "music sharer's paradise" streams your songs to a desktop program or a smartphone app seamlessly, and it does the job quickly, in high quality, and without downloading a megabyte of data to your device.
It also seeks to do what music sharing sites have failed to do in the past — to make listening social.
Sean Parker, the former Napster prodigy and a current Spotify investor, wrote in a note on Facebook, "Spotify is removing the barriers to sharing music with friends so that music can move freely and find its fans organically. Since Spotify takes music viral, listening to music online is finally going to be a social experience. (Just like it's always been offline.)"
With what is, in essence, millions upon millions of CD-quality tracks available to you at the click of a mouse on any device you choose, and an easy interface for reviewing (and taking) friend recommendations, Spotify may be just the meal to satiate a mobile music lover's appetite.
Except that Spotify was introduced in Europe first (in 2008!). Which means your preferred username — no matter how nuanced it may be — could already be taken by someone an ocean away.
But if you connect Spotify up to Facebook and Twitter, that minor detail is hardly noticeable.
Oh, and it doesn't have any Arcade Fire yet. In case you were, um, wondering.
Unlike most new tech product launches, Spotify isn't in beta, it isn't half-baked, and it's not lacking content. It's fully cooked and ready to be served up to the big dogs.
Can it survive in our options-ridden online streaming space? Will you switch to Spotify? Sound off in the comments.