[/blockquote]I am a hard core audiophile, at least that’s what I think. But, one thing is for sure, apart from the usual chatting and calls on my phone, Music is always number one. I needed an Android app for this and frankly, I can no longer rely on keeping media in my phone since 16 or 32 GB of the memory space that comes with smartphones is never enough, so I took the decision to use Music streaming apps. But, for every music app I wanted, there was a catch most of them could not work in Uganda, until I discovered several VPN apps (and no, that was not during the past presidential elections when social media was blocked). After looking at the different music streaming options, I have come to love Spotify. Well, this won’t be a review of the Spotify app, but I couldn’t resist, but write something about it. It is hard to criticize an app you have come to fall in love with, but hey am sure even the Virgin Mary herself had some flaws that were never documented in the holy books. Back to the point, I do love Spotify. So instead, I’m just going to tell you, why Spotify is my go to Android app, at work, home or travel.
Download Spotify : Here. If you can’t see this link a you can google it and side-load the Spotify APK.
Let’s start with the numbers, spotify is a Swedish music streaming service with an estimated 75 million users. But is it free? Well yes and no, it uses the same model like any other modern app (Think freemium). You can have both an ad-supported free version and a premium subscription for UGX 33,700 (US$9.99) a month, and no need to worry, both offer unlimited streaming with over 20 million songs available on the platform. For those wondering, yes, you can live with the ad-supported free version although you will have limited functionality on some few features for example you won’t be able to download songs or shuffle songs in the order you want, among others. After three months of using the app, I wondered if the premium subscription worth it? And, after my great experience before my free “premium” trial expired, I think it was great and worth to pay for.
So where does VPN come in? For VPN, that’s a one-time process when singing into the music service as it has to accept an IP address from a “Spotify allowed” country. The issue here is that for free users every 15 days the app checks your IP address, if it’s not in those countries Spotify will stop working. So at this point you will need a VPN. This is not the case for Premium subscriptions as the app will work without need for a VPN.
Side menu, My Spotify Profile and Radio
So, why does Roger love it?
Well this is simple, it seems to have it all. But, I can’t say that is the Gospel truth as some big artists like Adelle side stepped us when they refused to release their Albums on Spotify. In a nutshell am now a sucker for Spotify and I became a premium user. The app lets me listen to the music I like, it had read my music tastes and knows what to play for me at a particular time. But since many services offer this, below I will outline some other ways that Spotify excels in comparison to Apple Music or Google Play Music.
Personal Radio Stations
Let’s not confuse this with our usual FM Radio stations, it is not. Spotify allows you to create a radio station using your favorite songs as a reference points. Unlike Apple Music, where you have to feed the app with several artists of your preference. Spotify’s Music algorithms will help launch a playlist of other similar songs, and it does this job well. As well as being able to easily save any of those tracks to listen to again later, I can also give each song a thumbs up, or a thumbs down, thus improving the playlist for other users with a “wisdom of the crowd” type effect.
So, does it work? It works incredibly well. I’m very open-minded person when it comes to music so it probably has more appeal to me than someone who only likes a very specific genre. But generally speaking, using the radio feature always introduces me to at least one another song or artist that I like, and that’s all I ask.
Great Music Discovered Weekly
If there is any random thing I have come to love, it is the Discover Weekly feature that the Spotify introduced back in way back in 2015. With Discover Weekly, the app attempts to get me hooked on music I’ve never heard before. Seriously guys it’s a great selection, and don’t get me started with the Weekend Buzz and TGIF music selections, all I can say is that they are “off the hook”. On a weekly basis, these personalized playlists are issued and can include new music from several genres of music.
Just to make sure am not biased, I need to say this: Spotify doesn’t actually know what I like. Spotify uses several algorithms to learn your music tastes and preferences, the more you use it. So, don’t get freaked out cause with time (say three months down the road of constant usage) it will feel like these guys know what kind of music that hits the spot. Just like juju if you ask me.
Discover feature, Music Playback UI and Library
Control app with Smartphone
This not a new thing in the tech world, as we can even use our phones as TV remote controls and this also possible for Spotify. From my laptop to my PlayStation 4, I can swiftly handover both devices using my smartphone. Of course, Spotify will also beacon you to clarify if want to continue playing Spotify your PC, or if the phone or any other Spotify capable gadget can resume with playing the music. This is also the same that happens when I want to switch from my PS4 back to my phone. Whatever I choose to do next, it just works.
Planing a trip or want to save on the huge data bill that is caused by Music streaming? Am a frequent traveler, and with Spotify’s offline mode that enables me to download a full choice of my favorite music. That way you always have your favorite songs everywhere you go. Of course this means you must have enough memory on your phone. Another feature I think Spotify should introduce should be the Podcast feature and this would go well with the offline mode.
One thing is for sure, this app is not meant for us Ugandans (sorry but its the hard truth) the hustle you have to go through to get the app working on top of paying the subscription service might be a showstopper for most people. In reality, Spotify needs to make money and look since they don’t get the songs for free. Note that their free/freemium business approach is similar to most paid apps on the App Store, for me the end justifies the means.
Just in a period of 3 months I used between than 40- 100 MB of data per month on the Spotify app which doesn’t break the bank., if you ask me.
There are many other ways to stream music as we have seen before and you will need to rely on other services as some major artists can’t be found on Spotify.Also, don’t expect to find your favorite local artistes here, and if that is what you are looking for, you have just wasted 5 minutes of your life trying to read this post. What is your favorite app and why? Let me know in the comments.