GLOBAL – The hills are alive with the sound of music. Or, at least your phone could be, anyway. If you’re a music fan, you’ve probably heard of Spotify. A service that pumps music into your ears through the Internet, or even through your Nokia smartphone. We’ve loaded it up onto a Nokia N8 and put it through its paces. How does it work? Read on to find out.
For those of you that haven’t yet heard of Spotify, it’s an online service that currently has over 15,000,000 tracks and is adding 10,000 new tracks every day. This music library is available – for streaming – to anybody that signs up. If you choose the free service, you’ll be subjected to adverts and will have a limited playback service while the premium account gives you everything.
First of all, in order to use Spotify on your Nokia N8, you’ll need to download the Spotify app from Ovi Store, you’ll then need to sign yourself up to use their service. There are three different account types you can create: Spotify Premium (£9.99 per month); Spotify Unlimited (£4.99 per month); and Spotify Open (Free). The free version works on desktops and laptops. But in order to use Spotify on your mobile phone, Spotify requires you to purchase the premium service, as the other two options work if you’re planning on only listening to their music through a PC or Mac. To sign up to the Premium account, just press the Get Spotify Premium button half way down the page at the Spotify Premium site.
Once you’ve entered your card payment details and downloaded the app for your computer – the download starts automatically, but it’s not essential to use this for the mobile version – you’re ready to load up the app on your Nokia phone.
To get started using the Spotify app, the best place to start is at the Home tab at the bottom of the screen. It’s here you’re shown 10 albums that you may like. Otherwise, head on over to the Search tab and use the tabs at the top of the page to search by track, album or artist name. All you have to do is type it in using the bar at the bottom.
Select the track/album/artist you’ve just searched for in the results window that’s now populated underneath those tabs. From here, you can mark them with a star for easy finding later one in the Playlists menu, or by long-pressing on one of the search results you can add them to a playlist. Again, for easy listening later on, instead of searching all over again.
For playing music, the play button in the middle and at the bottom is where you’ll find the music player. If you’ve searched for a song and selected it from the search results screen, the music player would have opened automatically, showing you the album art and the controls for the music. To add the track from here, all that’s needed is a press of the little plus symbol that’s on screen. You’ll have links to other tracks by that artist, the option to add that song to a playlist, as well as shuffle and repeat.
The Playlist tab is where all your favourite music is found. If you’ve starred it, added it to a playlist or have been sent an item from one of your Spotify friends, you’ll find it here.
Although I mentioned earlier that you didn’t need the computer based app to make this mobile version work, it’s still useful to use. If you load the app on your computer and search for your favourite music, you can add it to a playlist there. Anything you do on the computer-based app will sync over to the mobile version and vice-versa. This makes listening to your favourite music on different platforms really easy, with very little effort.
As a premium member, you can not only stream music, but you’ll also have access to the tracks when offline, too. If you’re using the computer-based app, just create a playlist and pack it out with as many tracks as you like – well, 3,333 to be precise. But who’s counting? That’s more than enough!
You can also add to the offline content through the mobile app, too. Once you’ve added a playlist and you’re in the playlist view, selecting the Offline Playlists on the top of the screen will allow you to select which content you wish to use, offline. Perfect when you’re hopping on and off the trains on the London Underground, or don’t have an internet connection.
That’s one thing to remember here, the Internet. As the audio is streamed, it requires a constant internet connection. Although you can connect through 3G, we’d recommend that you find yourself a WiFi connection, if possible, add your favourite tracks to the offline playlist. That way, you’ll never be caught on-the-go without some decent tracks.
Here’s a video from Spotify that describes some more of their features.
Are you a Spotify user? If not, give it a go today and download it from Ovi Store.