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Spotify Opens UK Registrations to All

Gordon Kelly


Spotify Opens UK Registrations to All

To coin a popular phrase: this changes everything...

As long time readers will know, we're huge music fans at TR (boarding on addicted) and for those who haven't yet jumped on the Spotify bandwagon there really is no longer an excuse. The ingenius streaming music company has this week recognised what a fine nation of music lovers we are and made the UK the first country to benefit from open registrations. By contrast everywhere else membership remains invitation only.

"Starting today people in the UK will no longer need an invitation to join Spotify," declared the company on its official blog. "You can register for our free service directly from our website as always our premium, ad-free service is still available. However, we want to make sure that everyone who uses Spotify gets the same fast, uninterrupted experience so providing a stable service is our priority. If growth happens too fast and it starts affecting quality we may have to re-instate the invitation system, hopefully this won't happen. If everything goes well we hope to do the same in other countries in the future, but for now if you're in the UK and have been looking for an invitation to join, the wait is over."

Now for those living under a very large rock on an extremely distant planet for the last few months you may be wondering what Spotify is? In short: it's a jukebox in the Cloud. The service has licensing deals with the Big Four record labels (EMI, Warner Music, Sony BMG and Universal) plus numerous other smaller players meaning almost anything you could wish is there (almost).

Best of all however is Spotify's own proprietary tech which streams in Ogg (quality equivalent to 192kbps MP3) instantly, ie no delays, no buffering, even when scanning a track. How it manages this I have no idea but even on a 2Mbit line this happens and without hogging your bandwidth. I've not had a single track skip, ever. The downside is the free service plonks in unskippable ads every 5/6 tracks but a subscription (£9.99pm) wipes these out.

It's not a Last FM rip-off either, the two happily co-exist since the former deals in generalisations and the latter in your specific artist, album or track needs. Consequently you can listen through whole artist back catalogues, old favourites or even guilty pleasures who probably wouldn't own. My selection so far today includes these nuggets:

Don't damn me - Guns n Roses

We didn't start the fire - Billy Joel (yes I can sign along!)

Grip like a Vice - The Go! Team

Autumn Sweater - Yo La Tengo

On the Rhodes Again - Morcheeba

Shake! Shake! - The Subways

Mad About You - Hooverphonic

The Next Life - Suede

Bullet in the Head - Rage Against the Machine

Paper Planes - A R Rahman (from the Slumdog OST)

Ny Batteri - Sigur Ros

Hunted by a Freak - Mogwai

A sneaky play of Kevin Rudolf's Let it Rock

(Guilty pleasure warning) Rock me Amadeus - Falco

Would any of these have been on my day-to-day MP3 player/phone - not likely (caveats: except The Go! Team and The Subways), but it's some of the most enjoyable music listening I've had in many months. If you don't know any of these search for them in Spotify and hit play!

Just try it...!




February 11, 2009, 7:26 pm

" If you don't know any of these search for them in Spotify and hit play!"

Well since I'm not in the U.K., Youtube here I come!


February 11, 2009, 7:37 pm

Hey Ohmz, I'll send you an invite :) Direct message me your email over Twitter.


February 11, 2009, 7:46 pm

Gordon, I can't Direct Message you...

Lee Marshall

February 11, 2009, 7:49 pm

Seriously impressive.

I can sing along to "We did'nt start the fire" too. We are both incredibly sad individuals.

...now playing "John the Revelator" by Depeche Mode


February 11, 2009, 7:51 pm

Aye, he has to be following you if you want to message him. Just email him at TR.


February 11, 2009, 7:54 pm

What happened to you Hugo on Twitter?


February 11, 2009, 8:22 pm

I have been living under a rock for months...

thanks TR's, that's simply an amazing find! This will be on 24/7 from now :)

I hope they make a s60 mobile client version.


February 11, 2009, 8:28 pm

Twitter is rubbish. That is all.


February 11, 2009, 8:46 pm

hmm, despite following this site via RSS and almost OCD checking for new stuff constantly throughout the day at work, I hadn't a clue about this! Good stuff!

Now what I want to see is a Windows Mobile client for this released - 7Mbit HSDPA should be plenty if, as you say, 2MBit doesn't ever skip! mmm want!


February 11, 2009, 8:57 pm

Ohmz has his invite - got another 3 going spare still if any non UK TR readers want a Spotify invite ;)


February 11, 2009, 9:05 pm

"Spotify free is not available in your country."

"This product is not available in your country yet."

Damn the archaic copyright laws in this country...

Oh well, still waiting on that damn Marketplace Microsoft!


February 11, 2009, 9:17 pm

@Ohmz - which country?


February 11, 2009, 9:30 pm

@Gordon, Canada Baby! :)


February 11, 2009, 10:20 pm

Interesting service, though the interface is awful.


February 11, 2009, 10:40 pm

Well I've not been living under a large rock on a distant planet (though my lovely wife might disagree), but I have to confess that I'd never heard of Spotify. Which leads me to wondering if TR could add a new category on web services. I'm reasonably tech savvy, but at 42 I find that I'm only a week or two ahead of the national press on web crazes. How about some reviews of these things when you lot become aware of them. I wish I'd found Spotify before I forked out for Napster. Twitter I can do without anyway. Plus what's this Facebook thing? - Just kidding on that last one :)

@ Gordon - Curse you! I've installed Spotify and clicked on Lilly Allen for no other reason than she was on the front page - Lord help me, I like her! Mockney accent too!


February 11, 2009, 10:53 pm

@Chaos - A mobile version would be cool, but I have a feeling it won't be anytime soon. I'd love to see Spotify on my Sonos player, the same as Napster, but digging around it seems Spotify uses P2P and caches data on the hard disk ahead of playing. Obviously this is probably key to its ability to play good quality stuff so quickly; essentially you are streaming from your own hard disk.

As far as I know I don't think a Sonos has much in the way of memory for use in this way and I guess there'd be similar problems with a mobile. Then again perhaps I'm wrong - I frequently am.


February 11, 2009, 10:58 pm

Holy Skipping tracks batman!

This service/program is amazing! Mobile broadband and some decent speakers means no more CryTunes :)

Just a shame there isnt a mobile version....yet....


February 12, 2009, 12:18 am

Was listening to Spotify just as I saw this article. Brilliant service even over my 512kbps 'wet piece of string'. I used the 'invite-free' link on www.tinyurl.com/spotifylink which looks like it still works.


February 12, 2009, 12:32 am

@BlackAle - you're joking right? I find the UI superb!

Very pleased at the general happiness guys n gals. Welcome to the future... it's in the Cloud ;)


February 12, 2009, 2:00 am

Have you guys talked about this service before then? I've never heard of it.


February 12, 2009, 2:17 am

OMG how did I not know about this, I've been using lastFM for a while now, but this... this is truly the service I've been looking for! Even has film scores! Just incredible.

Thanks for telling me about this TR!

Tim 4

February 12, 2009, 3:54 am

Sweet. I have it running on Ubuntu. It's finding everything from Scrapper Blackwell to Beethoven. I can't believe it.


February 12, 2009, 4:16 am

Yep, Spotify is great. I've heard it's supposed to show you ads from time to time but I haven't come across one since I've been using it. I mainly use it to listen to a full track before I buy it on Amazon or iTunes. I've also noticed that there's a "buy from" link on the right-click menu in Spotify but it hasn't been enabled yet - hopefully they'll add this feature in a future release.


February 12, 2009, 4:41 am

Along with 'ReplayMusic' (google it) - A match made in heaven ;o) (so i've read, you understand?)

This is the best service on the internet since the invention of email! I'll be upgrading to the paid service. It's so good to see the big labels in music *finally* waking up and playing the game. In fact this software coupled with 'Graboid Video' should cover all music & video wants covered.

A happy camper. Thanks again.


February 12, 2009, 6:23 am

@Gordon - thanks for the tip off. Missed this before your article. Agree that the interface is excellent. I don't think I would pay for it as I have most of the music I want already. However, I can see this being excellent for trying things and finding new music. Very cool! And the Music Industry has sanctioned this!?! I am shocked!

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