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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By George Kielty, tb-two* music critic
I'm sure by now all of you music lovers have smelled something new in the air of the musical world, a new-to-America form of musical discovery: Spotify.
Spotify is a music engine, not unlike the same software you use to get songs onto your mp3 player (like iTunes). But it's not tied down to any one device. You can download the Spotify engine onto your computer for FREE, and listen to songs or set up playlists from its considerable music library. (From that point, you can decide whether to get it on your mobile device, which requires a monthly payment.)
Founded in England (or, as I like to call it, the Land Where All Good Things Are Made), Spotify was recently made available in the United States. As with many new social tech products, it's created buzz with an invite-only policy and talk from European music lovers that it's a top-notch service.
For now, it's a mostly free service. If you're fine keeping the music you collect on your computer, the service doesn't cost you anything. Granted you'll have to put up with the occasional ad for Bob Marley and the Wailers (or another featured band), but it's not anything that ruined the free music-streaming experience for me. If you plan on taking music from Spotify with you on your mobile device (iPod, iPhone or Android) you have to pay to get access to the Spotify music library on the go. It'll cost you $9.99/month, which isn't bad if you are an avid music listener who buys songs/albums from iTunes/the store on a regular basis. As a premium user, you'll also get relief from the ads.
For me, that's not a huge deal. Spotify has a really great music library, and it makes sorting your favorites simple. There are some bands that Spotify simply does not have access to. Some big bands from back in the day, like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, are notably absent from Spotify's library. It might be an attempt to avoid the trademark fraud that has crippled so many music sites in the past, and for me it is only a slight hiccup.
Spotify is just the thing for a party or social gathering that isn't worth wasting four blank CDs on, or for when you need tunes to crank around the house. It's also ideal for trying out new and old music, as it heavily promotes social aspects like playlist sharing.
Above all, Spotify does a wicked good job of staying up-to-date on new music, so instead of buying a new album based on a hit single or one of my pessimistic tb-two* reviews, you can listen to the entire album for free and see if you like it or not.
I'm really digging this program.
To get Spotify, visit the website or CLICK HERE, and enter your e-mail address to be put on the waiting list for an invite. As lame as that sounds, it only took me a day to get mine, so don't let that stop you.
Hurry though, this site is about to blow up.
Spotify rating: 4 asterisks ****
Show us some love in the comments: Which five songs would you HAVE to have on your Spotify playlist?