I read about the new music streaming service Spotify on and TorrentFreak yesterday. What they had to say seemed pretty favourable so I thought I’d download the program and give it a spin.

On visiting the Spotify site I found you can join up for free from a UK IP address and then download the Spotify installer. It’s a small download and installs without hassle. When running the application hardly takes up any memory, starts quickly and seems to run pretty smoothly.

After signing in the home page presented a list of popular artists and suggestions for artists I might like. There weren’t that many in the former list and the latter was, unsurprisingly, way off the mark – I assume that it will get better as you start listening to music using Spotify. I followed a link from this front page to a page of Jeff Buckley’s music (because he was the only artist that I knew) and then chose to play his version of Hallelujah. It started playing immediately and streamed flawlessly through its 6+ minutes with no skips, drop outs, or loss of clarity. So far so good.

Next I started to search the Spotify library to see if I could find any music to match my somewhat less than mainstream taste. I was pleasantly surprised to find matches for Geoff Mann, Twelfth Night, Unitopia, Crack The Sky, and other more staple artists from the prog rock canon (Genesis, Gentle Giant, Marillion, Pink Floyd, Yes, etc). Not too bad but there’s a lot more rare stuff I’ll search for later.

Overall Spotify is worth checking out if all you want to do is play music on your computer. You should note that it streams music using peer-to-peer technology so it may have a negative impact on your bandwidth – I haven’t the time, or inclination to look into how well it performs in that regard but no doubt others will. Probably the best thing to do is sign up, download the application and take it for a spin yourself.


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