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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spotify comes to the U.S.

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Europe has been all over the digital streaming service Spotify for a while now, but it's remained off-limits to Americans for complicated legal reasons. Today, however, the critically praised site opened its digital doors to American audiences with plenty of fanfare online. The UK-based app has access to millions of songs, and is available on three different subscription models (free for basic service or $5 to $10 for more advanced features).

I've been tinkering with Spotify all afternoon, and it's honestly a pretty great service. It has a vast library of songs (somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 million) to draw on, and makes some pretty good recommendations via the "related artists" tab. In the three or four hours I've had it, I've already been able to catch up on a few new albums I've been interested in, but reluctant to actually purchase. The ads are pretty non-intrusive (and non-existent for subscribers), and the interface is intuitive. Overall, I'd say Spotify is a pretty worthwile download.

Currently, Spotify's free service is invite-only, but anyone can gain access immediately by purchasing a subscription. If you're dedicated enough, though, I imagine it's not too hard to find an invite online somewhere.

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