Take your favorite music with you anywhere
Spotify is a music streaming service, which allows users to listen to millions of songs from artists all around the world, on demand. It also enables users to create and share their own playlists, listen to podcasts, and discover new music based on their preferences and listening habits.
The service is classed as a 'freemium' service, meaning that basic features are available for free, but advanced features require a paid 'Premium' account. The free iPhone version of the app allows users to play any album, artist or playlist on the service, albeit only in 'shuffle' mode. The free version also contains adverts between tracks.
It is perfectly legal to use the app to stream songs, or download songs for offline use. Spotify pays royalties to artists and record labels or rights holders, based on the number of times their tracks are streamed by users. However, it is illegal to use the app to play illegally downloaded audio files.
Streaming audio refers to audio content that is sent to a user over the internet in a continuous 'stream' and played in 'real time'. This means that the user does not need to wait for a file to download in order to play it and the audio file played will not be kept on the device's storage. Streaming audio does, however, require an internet connection.
Premium refers to the paid service, which provides a range of extra features. On the iPhone version, Premium users are able to play any song without having to use shuffle mode. Adverts are completely removed, allowing for the seamless playing of playlists or albums, and higher quality audio is available.
Offline use is only available to Premium subscribers. In order to use the service offline, users must download the tracks or playlists they want to play offline in advance. Offline playlists are downloaded in an encrypted form, which means they can only be played through the Spotify app.
The current limit for downloading tracks for offline use is a maximum of 3,333 tracks per device, and Premium users can use a maximum of three different devices.
Users are able to use local MP3 files within the app, making it an all-in-one music player. In addition, the app also supports the .mp4, and .m4p file formats, although it cannot play .mp4 files that include video content. Moreover, the app does not support .wma files, the iTunes .m4a lossless format, or any other audio file formats.
Free users are able to use the app abroad for a maximum of 14 days. After that, they need to either upgrade to Premium or change the country their account is registered to within the settings. Premium users can use the service abroad for an unlimited period, but will need to connect to the servers via the internet at least once every 30 days.