Spotify overshadows Pandora

Sarah Rosenberg

Music is experiencing a European invasion, and I don’t hate it. For all of you who have been listening to Pandora on your computers and smart phones over the past few years, it’s time to take a step further and start embracing Sweden’s Spotify.

Spotify’s application requires users to sign up via e-mail; once you receive an invite, Spotify on your computer becomes free and 13 million MP3’s are yours to browse through and create personal playlists with. Like Pandora, you have to sit through advertisements and rely on Internet connection to enjoy your music. If you want to shell out some extra cash, though, you can get Spotify on your phone and computer with unlimited music, sans commercial messages about deodorant.

Many people may be apprehensive to abandon Pandora, which has truly proved to be an innovative tool that combines music with mobility, the World Wide Web, and economic appeal. Everyone loves free radio tailored to personal music tastes, but Spotify takes it to the next level. Whereas Pandora will introduce you to new artists and songs that you may like, Spotify allows you to hone into what you’re already a fan of. In one playlist I can listen to my favorite Nirvana tracks, or a new song I’ve just heard on the radio. After listening to an Amy Winehouse song in class the other day, I immediately downloaded it to Spotify, as well as number of famous songs from the late singer’s discography.

Most importantly, Spotify throws social networking into the mix that Pandora initially created. Social networking should immediately render at least two things in your mind when you hear the term: Facebook and Twitter. While it isn’t necessary to tell the world what you’re listening to (although, you shouldn’t be ashamed, as we all have Destiny’s Child hits floating on our iPod somewhere), you can do just that through your social networking accounts. Every time you log onto your Facebook, whatever is playing on Spotify at the moment will appear on the news feed.

Some people may get annoyed by this at times, but it may just end up being a great conversation starter some day. You could be walking down the hall when all of a sudden a Facebook friend stops you just to say, “Hey, I noticed on your Facebook that you listen to Jeff Buckley, too! I thought I was the only one.” Then and there you’ve met your new study partner, or future loved one. Who knows, Spotify could become the new Just kidding.

Pretentious or not, my love for Spotify has become instant. Sure, it has some kinks to work out on the phone application, and I wish it was timelier in getting new singles from today’s artists, but I am more than satisfied. My roommates and I have already made the most killer ‘90’s playlist, that any nineties child would be seriously jealous of.