Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saving Money Can Be Music To Your Ears

In high school I served tables part-time at a local restaurant.  I wish I could say that I was saving for college or putting money away to secure my financial future.  In truth, the money was mostly spent on CD’s (and we’re not talking about Certificate Deposit here).  Music has always been a part of my life, so spending the cash on the latest album was natural to me.  The cost added up quickly.  Often, I could spend upwards of $40-50 in a week.

Then came iTunes.  No need to buy 14 songs on an album when you could simply have the one or two that you really liked. A quick download brought the music straight to your computer/iPod and you were ready to go. Still, if you are anything like me, you enthusiasm for music could lead you to spend upwards of $150 or more in a given year.  Now a new era has begun…

Spotify launched in the United States just a few short months ago.  It resembles an iTunes format in that you can get the songs you want, put them into playlists, and listen at will.  The biggest difference… Spotify offers free music.   That’s right free.  Like Pandora, there are some commercials that will be interjected into your playlist.  Unlike Pandora, your music is completely customizable, just like an iTunes playlist.

For a small monthly fee ($4.99 a month) you can listen to your music without commercial interruption.  While this amounts to $60 a year, it is still a fraction of the price that I would pay in a year’s time.  For $9.99 a month you can stream to your mobile devices.  Since I don’t listen to much music on my mobile devices, this is not as appealing to me for the additional cost.  However, if you do like music on your mobile device and spend more that $120 a year on music, this could be a viable option to save money.

“Wait just a minute!” my legally-minded friends may be thinking.  “How could this be free and legal?  Sounds a little Napster-esc to me.”  Let me sooth your worries with these two facts about Spotify.  First, you don’t own the music and cannot burn, share, or copy it.  Therefore, the music does not belong to you. Second, according to Spotify any artist that is featured through their service makes money from being streamed to your computer.  So you can feel good about supporting you favorite artist legally when you listen.

I’ve used the service for about five months now personally and for the organization I work for.  The library contains almost all the artists and titles that I have searched.  The quality of the streaming is as if it were an actual file playing from my computer.  It has apps and a social media component through Facebook if you are interested.  I’m a raving fan.  So sign up and check it out for yourself…  Happy listening!


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