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Spotify is no longer content to just compete with radio, now they’re competing with the idea of even owning music.

Spotify is one of the best web services going. With an awesome free plan Music Streaming With Spotify: What You Get For Free Music Streaming With Spotify: What You Get For Free The long awaited streaming music service, Spotify landed in the U.S. last week. Unlike other streaming services, however, Spotify offers an ad-supported free option, which makes millions of albums and songs available to you through... Read More and an even better paid one, Spotify has edged out rivals such as Rdio Spotify vs. Rdio: A Complete Comparison Spotify vs. Rdio: A Complete Comparison I recently cancelled my Spotify Premium membership after a year of uninterrupted monthly payments to the company. This decision came about when I accidentally signed up for 14-days of free Rdio Unlimited. Quite frankly, I... Read More to become the dominant music streaming service.

Listening to music with Spotify used to be a slightly strange experience. While you could create playlists, it was a poor method for building a proper music collection like your iTunes library. Also, while you had access to thousands of artists, there was no easy way to save a list of your favourites; even if you listened to the same bands over and over again, you’d have to search for them each time.

The Playlist Paradigm

Spotify was, initially, never meant to be a direct competitor to owning music. Instead, Spotify targeted radio. Rather than turning on a radio station that played the Billboard Hot 100, the idea was that you’d listen to Spotify’s Billboard Hot 100 playlist. You would still keep your music collection in iTunes — or a large stack of CDs.

You wouldn’t listen to the same artists or albums over and over again, with Spotify, you’d listen to playlists. Spotify was built around making it as easy as possible to create them. Apps that made, or shared, playlists 5 Of The Best New Spotify Apps For Music Fans 5 Of The Best New Spotify Apps For Music Fans At the end of 2011, Spotify, the insanely popular and rapidly growing music-streaming service, added apps into its already heady mix of awesomeness. There were some true gems hidden in there, with 5 of the... Read More only furthered this aim.



For a long time, if you wanted to save an album to your Spotify account, you’d have to create a playlist of all the songs in that album. This was obviously not an ideal situation; the Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Californication would be lumped in with your Guilty Pleasures playlist.

Also, unless you went to the effort of manually creating and sorting folders, there was no easy way to browse your music logically. A Stadium Arcadium playlist was as likely to be next to Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hits as any other Chillis’ albums.

If you wanted a nice, easily browsed and searched music collection with all your favourite artists, albums and songs, you still had to use iTunes, or one of the alternatives like Clementine Clementine - A Simple Cross Platform Alternative Music Player Clementine - A Simple Cross Platform Alternative Music Player Read More .

The Paradox Of Choice

Why is it that you can always quickly find something to watch on TV but it takes you far longer with Netflix? Surely Netflix’s limitless selection would make it easier to find something worth viewing? Psychologist Barry Schwartz coined the phrase The Paradox of Choice 6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior 6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior The human brain is complex and confusing, which explains why human behavior is so complex and confusing. People have a tendency to act one way when they feel something completely different. Here are a few... Read More to describe how, when given more and more options to choose from, people get less sure of — and happy with — their decisions. This paradox plays a role in listening to music with Spotify.

With Spotify it was always possible to use search to find any artist and have all their albums available in one place. This would seem to solve one of the major problems I have with playlists. Without the ability to save a list of your favourites, however, you would always have countless possible choices. If you were in the mood for some alternative rock, selecting, from every alternative band ever, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers was a difficult and involved choice. There were too many other options for it to be an easy decision.

With a smaller, carefully selected music collection to choose from, finding your favourite music was easier. You weren’t overwhelmed with options. Choosing the Chillis over the one or two other alternative bands in your iTunes music library didn’t require anywhere near the same degree of thought as picking them on Spotify.

Introducing Your Music

Over the past few months Spotify has rolled out a Your Music feature that finally makes it possible to build an iTunes style music collection. Now, rather than using iTunes for your music and Spotify for your casual listening, you can get the best of both worlds — just with Spotify.

The Your Music section includes all your previously created playlists. It also adds sections for saved songs, albums and, by extension, artists. The ability to save selected songs and albums into an easy to navigate collection has made it possible to build a real music library in Spotify. The Songs, Albums and Artists sections are clearly inspired by the structure in iTunes and many other media players, and will be instantly familiar to anyone who has used one.

Saving Songs & Albums

While it’s not yet possible to save an artists entire work in one go, any individual song or album can be added to Your Music collection. With the updates, Spotify has added a large Save button to every album page. Simply clicking that will add all the songs in the album to Your Music.

To just add an individual song, click the + icon next to the play button.


Using Your Music

The structure of Your Music is very similar to iTunes. The Songs tab is a long list of every song you’ve saved. You can sort the list alphabetically by track, artist and album or by song length and when it was added with the desktop apps. On the mobile apps, you can only sort it by title and recently added.


On mobile devices — so long as you are a premium subscriber — you are able to download all the songs in Your Music with a single tap by clicking the Available Offline toggle. Spotify was already the best way to listen to music on your iPhone Spotify: The Best Way To Listen To Music On Your iPhone Spotify: The Best Way To Listen To Music On Your iPhone With Spotify making it onto the MakeUseOf Best iPhone Apps list, we're taking a closer look at what you can get out of using Spotify on your iPhone. You can select between the free or... Read More ; with these improvements it’s even better.


The Albums and Artists tabs are slightly different to the songs tab. Rather than a simple list, they display the album cover or images of the band. They can be sorted alphabetically, by when they were added or, most interestingly, by play count.

Spotify: The Only Music App You Need

With the introduction of these new features, I have moved all my music listening to Spotify. Being able to sync all my saved music to my phone with a single tap has removed any need for iTunes. While the changes may seem subtle, they have turned Spotify into a fully featured music player as well as an awesome streaming service.

Do you use Spotify on your phone? Is the new “Your Music” feature a game-changer for you? Tell us how you use Spotify in the comments.

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  1. Kimberly B Stone
    April 10, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I have a lot of, um, suspiciously acquired music. World music, mostly. Pirate Bay. Okay, it's not the most righteous thing to do, and I don't do it any more.

    It's living on an iPod now, as the laptop it was on has died. I want to get it into a PC and then into Spotify or something cloud-like to be accessible at work or on my phone. Or maybe on the new Amazon tap.

    Hints? Thanks.

    • Teddy
      April 26, 2016 at 3:26 am

      I think this is the one I used there is a free option but it was 1dl/time, so I paid the $20 so I could do it all at once, 60GB took a few hours that was with USB 2.0, usb 3.0 should take a few minutes if that. So I moved everything from my ipod to my new external hard drive, did this in preparation for a new PC, then once I got my new PC, just downloaded Winamp, wayyyy better than iTunes. Hope this helped

  2. Nick Younie (Nick Yo)
    June 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Why doesn't it resync your iTunes ever?? Also I don't have that Your Music link and no updates available? I don't get it

  3. RW
    January 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    On Spotify and itunes you never Own the music, you just lease it.
    Don't think of it any other way, they own you!!
    All fine until you say retire and can't afford the monthly payments, they go bust ( don't think they won't look at Blackberry and Nokia, who'd believe how the mighty can fall)!!
    I'd rather listen free and when I find something I really like buy it and its mine to keep and leave or give to whoever I want.

    • Bob
      January 29, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      What do you mean you don't "own" it on iTunes? I have 20,000 songs in my iTunes and they are on my hard drive. If Apple went out of business, I still have my songs.

  4. Roshni
    January 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    If I got Spotify and for some reason had to cancel it because I can't afford it any longer, wouldn't I lose the huge library I've built up? I wouldn't be able to move back to iTunes with my new library would I?

    Also does Spotify sync with iPods?

    • Nick Younie (Nick Yo)
      June 23, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      I'm pretty sure the premium account is for playing music offline (no internet) so if u cancel you'll still have your saved music/playlists.. Just only with internet connection. I did that before having premium so that should be right!

  5. Arnie
    January 12, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I am working on making the switch from iTunes to Spotify now that Spotify behave much more like a music player rather than radio competitor. My biggest concern right now is my disk space.

    I understand I need to download all of my iTunes music first. Plenty of space for that. My concern is I want to make a lot of my Spotify music available off-line. Do you know where those files are stored? Will it virtually double my disk space requirements? I don't think I have enough space left to double up on my music files (about 40GB).

    I am willing to move away from iTunes, but I don't want to lose any music in the process. Any suggestions?

  6. Sharon Moore
    October 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I've had the free and paid version of Spotify (back to free) for over a year now. I love it! They literally have LP versions that are out of print. I must have about 50 playlists with over 1,000 songs that I can listen to at will (i.e., on demand). Thank you Spotify!!!

  7. Bob Young
    October 5, 2014 at 2:37 am

    I'm pretty sure that you cannot add songs to spotify. That is a deal breaker for me. I have kids in chorus, kids in band, local bands I like, and that weird uncle that likes to create 'mixed-tapes' CDs based on themes (some so-so and some are really good). If there is no way to add 30% of what I listen to, well, what good is it?

    I do use itunes to help catalog and organize and a big ol' microSD card for most of my 'transporting' - it's in my phone and I can plug that into my car, my work computer, and my stereo.

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      The Spotify desktop app can pull in all your iTunes music too, if it isn't in Spotify. I don't think the phone version can do that so it depends on where you listen to it. Me and my friends have moved onto mixed tape Spotify playlists so you could talk your uncle!

      But I do understand where you're coming from. Spotify is aimed at popular music, and not even that popular music. If what you're listening to a lot is super niche it won't be of as much use to you.

    • TERBPA
      October 14, 2014 at 4:53 am

      Spotify won't allow you to 'add' songs to it's service, but Spotify does have the ability to pull in your owned music on your desktop app. These tracks can be seamlessly integrated into your playlists, and they play just as if Spotify had them themselves. As a bonus, you can sync the desktop app with your phone app and have those songs available for offline use, or to be available when your mobile playlist calls for one. It's not difficult to add in your own stuff, and that's coming from a guy with over 8K songs saved in Spotify. Over 500 of which come from my own collection.

  8. Atif Unaldi
    October 3, 2014 at 4:37 am

    I have 3 qs
    1. I paid lot to itunes and itunes match . Is there a migrate tool that makes all them liked in spotify
    2. In paid way of using we can download songs from spotify. But in which format? Can I play on every player I had?
    3. One day if I couldnt pay the s?bscription of spotify will i lose all my downloaded songs?

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      I'm not sure about your first question. Maybe ask in the Make Use of Answers section.

      Songs you download with spotify can only be played through the spotify app. I imagine they are in mp3 but can't be sure.

      You'd lose access to them but not lose them, once you paid for spotify again you could play them again.

  9. Rain
    October 3, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I recently discovered Spotify and I love it. It's so easy to use for a non-tech savy like me. I was able to store my father's favorite artist's albums--complete collections--to be available offline, so no buffering needed and a wide range of songs is available unlike having an iTunes collection your songs just keeps repeating.

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      It really does just work. It's awesome to see what a company that is purely dedicated to shaking up the music industry can do. They've no ulterior motives, they just want to be the best way for people to listen to anything they want.

  10. Deena M
    October 2, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    I switched from a blackberry to iPhone in Feb 2013 took some getting use to. However, I never could get on board with the whole itunes thing. NOW Spotify... OMG I am in love. I have been a premium subscriber since July 2013 and the upgrades they have made are awesome. I never have trouble finding what I am looking for and it is well worth the 9.99 a month which comes directly out of my Paypal account every month.

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      I'm the same. Spotify just keeps getting better and better. I'm so optimistic about where they'll go next. Have you tried shared playlists with your friends? It's one of my favourite under used features.

  11. Rick
    October 2, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Good job Harry.

  12. Jay
    October 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    So do companies pay makeuseof via check to write articles or is it direct deposit?

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

      We require that they send the CEOs first born son on his seventh birthday to the MUO of HQ. That's how I got started working for MUO.

    • Tina
      October 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I'm not sure what you're suggesting here, Jay, so I have to assume you're asking whether this was a sponsored post. It wasn't.

      If a post was sponsored in any way (yes, it does happen), you'll see a note at the bottom of the article. But even if a post was sponsored, the review will always be as unbiased as humanly possible. Authors and editors don't directly communicate with the sponsor, don't know what was sponsored, and are encouraged to write painfully honest reviews.

  13. Scott A.
    October 2, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    What about Rhapsody? They have been around forever and their iPhone app is rock solid (now). They also allow you to download high definition songs. The only draw backs that I know of with Rhapsody is that some of the biggest stars (Coldplay, Rihanna) release exclusively to iTunes so you have to wait until about their 3rd song is released to get the album and they don't do as good a job with marketing as some of their competition.

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Spotify also allows high bitrate audio streaming and downloads. The two services are very similar but for me, Spotify is the most dominant one. They've more customers, more music and more leverage. If one of them is going to fail, I think it's gonna be Rhapsody and I don't want to waste time and money on a service that may not stick around.

  14. Doug Pocius
    October 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    For casual listening, I've been using Pandora for some time now. With the artist-based genre play-list builder, it comes the closest to the "radio station" paradigm of any app/service that I've tried. This feature gets around the "paradox of choice" problem nicely. Like Petah, I just want to push a button and hear music that I will probably like, at least most of the time. I use iTunes for those times when I want to listen to a specific artist or album that I have saved. But, I haven't tried Spotify: does it work in this "let us choose for you" mode at all?

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Yeah Spotify is great for the let us choose for you stuff. You can create a playlist with say ten artists in it and then click the radio button and it will use the artists in that playlist to create a station. You can also find playlists that other people have made, say every song from Entourage or the best new Eurodance and listen to that.

    • Sharon Moore
      October 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      I have Pandora also, but it's more like a radio station where they choose what you listen to. Spotify, on the other hand, is on demand where you can choose to listen to what you want. You can even set up playlists and save music for listening at a later time.

  15. Mystery Tramp
    October 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Admittedly late to streaming music. D/L'd Spotify, clicked on '80s New Wave and the first song sounded off. Then I figured it: it was a cover. Deleted Spotify. Not interested.

  16. Ron
    October 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Good info, and I really like Spotify. But if i give up iTunes, what do I do about all the hundreds of songs I've already purchased?

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

      You save them to Your Music in Spotify! Then you've got them in both places.

    • Brandon
      January 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      @Harry: What if I have music in my library that isn't in Spotify? Can I upload it and share across my devices? Or would I need to manage that music separately (in iTunes or something)?

      Also, I have a huge library (over 20,000 songs). Is there something out there that will scan it and tell me what is in Spotify and what isn't?

  17. Marcos
    October 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I've been using Spotfy for the past month and I really think it is the thing for music. I'm only eager to know if the artists really get paid for their music. I know about that whole situation involving Thom Yorke...

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

      The bulk of Spotify's revenue gets spent on royalty payments. The issue is that much of the royalties get taken by labels, managers, etc. before it even reaches the band. However, when the alternative for a lot of people is torrenting with no royalty, and a low royalty from Spotify... The other thing is how the royalty rate is set, Spotify tries to position itself as Internet Radio and thus wants to pay radio royalty rates, where as the (every greedy) labels would like it paying far more.

    • Marcos
      October 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you, Harry. This information helped me a lot!

  18. MrX
    October 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I used to be a spotify user but cancelled my subscription. Why? Because there are way to many subscription based services these days. I just cant afford them all anymore. Instead I went back to the "old ways" of owning my music. And I must say that I prefer it that way.

    • Harry
      October 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

      How many subscription services were you signed up for!? The only ones I have are Spotify (obviously), Netflix and Audible (which doesn't really count). The price for as much stuff as I want to watch or listen to is well worth it.

  19. Aaron
    October 2, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Grooveshark has been doing this for years. It's the best streaming secret on the web. It's not in Google Play because they apparently see it as competition to Google Play. But Rdio and Spotify and others are there. Grooveshark is better than all of them.

  20. likefunbutnot
    October 1, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    * Google Play Music lets users upload 20,000 of their own tracks, save them to other computers or devices on non-stupid platforms and stream them on demand.

    * Plex lets me make my whole music collection available for streaming, not just for myself but for anyone else I've shared my libraries with.

    * Neither Plex nor Play Music requires users to operate from playlists; Play Music will actually do a "quick mix" in much the same way that Youtube now does.

    * Voluntarily using itunes gives the concept of free will a bad name.

    In closing, either Play Music or Plex looks to me to be a generally superior option.

    • Petah
      October 1, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      But I don't wanna upload any music. I just want to click a button and it works.

    • Harry
      October 2, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Hey, thanks for your input. This article was meant to be about the benefits of Spotify and I only used iTunes because — despite its flaws — it is the dominant music player and store. I think many of the benefits stand over other services or they are fatally flawed in some other way.

      For example, Plex, which I love for movies, requires you to manage your own music collection as it has no native store. It is also designed for local network streaming and configuring it for Internet streaming is beyond the capacity of many tech savvy people.

      With Google Play Music the issue is different. First, many people already have collections of music built in iTunes. Google Play was late to the party. Yes they can upload all those tracks but it's still far more hassle than just joining Spotify. Second, Google has killed far more widely used and loved services before. I am still hurting from the Reader debacle! Although they charge money for All Access, Spotify and Rdio's financials make it pretty clear that Google isn't going to be turning a huge profit on it. I would not be surprised if the service, as it is now, didn't change dramatically over the next few years. Spotify's one and only goal is to be the dominant streaming service. Google is flighty, drops and picks up projects on a whim and generally launches far more products than they ever fully support.

      If I'm gonna put my money and time into one service, it's gonna be the one that cares about it.

    • likefunbutnot
      October 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm


      First thing I'm going to bring up here is my bias. I love classical music, up to and including works being composed in the 21st century. No mainstream streaming service handles classical music well. I imagine Pandora, Spotify et al do better for music that might be described by a top 40 genre, but my music is an afterthought for them.

      At the end of the day, EVERYONE has to manage their media collection, just like they have to manage their photos. There's no service that's going to offer 100% content availability, sensible organization and perfect metadata (the latter two concepts are particularly tricky for people who like art music). A store or streaming service can't be seen as anything other than a starting point for those things unless you're entirely willing to commit to a single source for all future content purchases and to give up all notion of managing the content you do own. You're probably also limiting the number of computers or devices you can associate with your media collection and you may be limiting your ability to choose platforms in the future.

      With regard to Plex configuration, you're right that the trick of external access isn't the easiest thing to set up, but a motivated person can figure it out. Port forwarding isn't THAT hard.

      I don't see Google Play Music going away. It's a storefront much like Amazon's or the terrible fruit people. It has already negotiated its deals with labels and studios, a decidedly larger undertaking than building a login-based RSS reader. It's also an interface to its app store and it serves an essentially captive market of Android users. And if Google Music did go away? Users who uploaded their own media would still have their copies of the content they uploaded. The only thing they'd REALLY lose if Google shut down the service is an easy path between computers and mobile devices.

    • Harry
      October 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Ah! My music tastes are significantly less refined. You'll hate me for saying this but I feel Scooter is the pinnacle of Germany's contribution to music! At least 95% of the music I listen to is available on Spotify. It's probably closer to 99%. There have only been one or two instances where I've not been able to listen to an artist I wanted to on Spotify.

      And again, for your second point, over the past year Spotify has become the single point for me. I have music collections in both iTunes and Plex. They haven't been used. At a guess, I'd also say I'm quite a bit younger than you which influences my decisions and opinions. The concept of ownership has grown more and more fluid as I've grown up. While I appreciate that some people like to own their music, that has never been an issue for me. I'm quite content to rent it. Similarly, Spotify doesn't limit your devices much (I don't know the exact limit, I'm sure there is one but I have it on at least 6 things), what it does limit is your ability to listen in more than one place. As a single, childless guy, the concept of sharing a Spotify account with someone is crazy to me!

      I think you're underestimating the difficulty, and support for port forwarding. You also need to be fortunate to have high capacity broadband that allows you to do it. Many stock routers either don't support it or are just plain painful to do it on. I tried to set it up before and failed; and I write about technology and have built a Hackintosh. Maybe if I'd spent more time at it I could have done it but for me the benefit just isn't there.

      The terrible fruit people? I'm suspecting there's another bias you have! ;-) I think the storefront will remain but the all access streaming stuff will change. Studio deals have to be renegotiated. I don't think Google will care enough, or have reason to care enough, if the Studios start being awkward and looking for more of a cut. Even assuming the streaming service is identical to Spotify's, I'd still sooner support the company for who it is 100% of their business, not <5%. It's the same reason I use Dropbox over Google Drive. The company who is dedicated has more motivation to get it right than the silly multi-coloured logo people. :P

  21. Rob
    October 1, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I agree that it's a great service...But it has no native support (Windows) for AirPlay. I'm sticking with iTunes until it does.

  22. Suleiman
    October 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Good read, thanks.

    Hey Canada, as of September 30th Spotify is available in Canada with out invitation. So get it and enjoy.