Yesterday I was reading an article by Steve Kovach about Spotify and its six month free (ad supported) listening period coming to an end. There seemed to be quite a bit of buzz about this ploy to lure US users in my Flipboard too. I have to admit, I was a huge proponent of Spotify but more importantly I was a huge supporter of streaming music.
Pandora was great until it became ad laden and required me to manage a series of playlists/channels just so I could get the perfect experience for whatever it was I was doing. Grooveshark was fantastic but the licensing issues and potential legal battles they could face at any moment warded me off. Spotify seemed to be that shining beacon of streaming music services that I wanted. I went all in on Spotify and signed up for a Spotify Premium account.
I was very pleased with Spotify Premium, it allowed me to create all the playlists I wanted filled with tons of music I loved. It synced those playlists with my work computer, home laptop, and my iPhone. It even allowed me to make offline playlists which I used for music I wanted to listening while working out or driving in my car as not to blow my 2 GB bandwidth cap with Verizon. The social features of Spotify were awesome too. I had a ton of interaction on Facebook thanks to Spotify (and I found new music I liked too). All was well in Spotify Premium land.
It all started to unravel when I went on my honeymoon. Bouncing around from plane to cruise ship to foreign country essentially required me to unplug from my high tech life style. Day two of the cruise I went for a run on the ship, opened up Spotify to turn on my fully synced offline playlists online to be asked to login to play them. That wasn't going to work as I was twenty miles off the coast of Cuba.
Another issue I've noticed with Spotify (and I would assume any streaming music service) is that whenever an artist or label doesn't want their music to be streamed anymore then you'll never have access to it again. Sure, Spotify had a feature to upload and sync your own music but it was clunky at best and didn't necessarily work how it should. Besides, my idea of the perfect streaming music service was to be all streaming; to no longer actually own the music I was listening to and to no longer have to waste storage space on digital music files (and organizing that library).
After getting married you look at expenses, especially entertainment dollars. I was surprised how quickly my budget for entertainment dropped when I removed the $120 a year that Spotify Premium was costing me (it was either Spotify or Sirius that had to go). The cost of being able to stream on a mobile device essentially was the main catalyst behind me dropping Spotify.
The other Spotify killer was iTunes Match; $25 a year and I could create my own 25,000 song streaming music library that would stream to any device that could run Apple software. Plus, as a bonus, it completely legitimized my music library (not that I had an illegitimate library but, to be honest, I couldn't tell you where any of the CDs I once owned are any more). Sure, iTunes Match is by no means a perfect streaming music or cloud based storage service but when you compare the cost and features of it to Spotify then you have a real competitor.
I'm not trying to convince you not to drop $10 and try Spotify Premium once your free trial ends, I'm just letting you know why I loved and then decided to fall out of love with Spotify. If anything you should try it out and see how well you like it. But, for me it's time to run the Spotify uninstaller.