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Spotify Overhauls Purchases & Playback

Gordon Kelly


Spotify Overhauls Purchases & Playback

Spotify is getting a makeover and it's an important one.

Today the streaming music service has fully embraced downloads. Completely, utterly and unreservedly through three key points:

  • Buy without leaving Spotify: previously users needed to complete a number of steps before being directed to purchase music from our download partner 7digital's site. Now own a song in a few clicks from within Spotify.

  • Better visibility: up till now, users had to right-click on a track/album to discover if the music was available to buy. Users can now see exactly what music is available, with 'buy' buttons now visible either underneath the album cover or next to a particular track.

  • Playable within Spotify: all Spotify MP3 purchases are now available to play on the service - check out the 'Purchases' button on the Spotify sidebar. They also can be transferred from here to any other MP3 player, programme or burnt to a CD

The small print? The Purchases FAQ Page provides a lot of answers, but the key aspects are downloads are saved in your default Windows/Mac music folder though this can be changed in the preferences menu. Tracks can be re-downloaded three to five times (which is handy, but a little vague), not all tracks have a buy button since Spotify and downloads partner 7Digital don't share exactly the same libraries. Once purchased, the buy button will disappear from a track/album and quality is good since 7Digital deals in high bitrates with most tracks in 320kbps and 256kbps.

All countries where Spotify in currently available should receive this new functionality immediately so that's Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. So all in all this seems a necessary and mature addition to the once lofty (and perhaps naive) aspirations to run an entirely streaming based service. At present however there is no way to remove the new 'Buy' buttons - something we'd at least like to see as an option to Premium subscribers. It would also be good to see this functionality added to Spotify Android and iPhone apps though their respective Amazon and iTunes native services would likely take great issue with that.

Still, do we like it? Yes, very much so...


Spotify Official Blog Post


October 15, 2009, 5:26 pm

I am shocked that the price for digital downloads is still so high! I have spotify premium. E.g. Why do they want £7.49 for a MP3 Leftfield - Leftism!!!There should be at least 50% discount for premium users.


October 15, 2009, 6:04 pm

I was wondering what a Lemon Jelly album cover was doing on TR. Fair enough I suppose...

Maybe Spotify should start selling tracks directly, rather than through 7Digital. Maybe then the prices would go down and Premium users might get a discount. That would be more in line with Napster's (an now Sky's) offering.


October 15, 2009, 6:33 pm

Hmm, am I just being thick or is there no way to view individual prices BEFORE you hit the buy button? And no cart/basket option?


October 15, 2009, 7:55 pm

will this include lossless tracks?


October 15, 2009, 9:17 pm

Interesting timing what with Sky Songs just around the corner at lower monthly rates.

I am going to hold on to see what Sky Songs offers - obvious benefit is being able to use a browser and not dedicated software, which means I can listen at work as I cannot download Spotify on corporate machines.


October 16, 2009, 1:00 pm

Bit of a needless and longwinded way to find out the price but I suspect this sort of thing will be ironed out in time.

@ilovethemonkeyhead - No lossless as far as Im aware. Same bitrates as the Premium sub (320) but still higher than Napsters.

@Gav66 - Remember Napster can operate in a web browser too without software. While this isnt quite the case for Napster, Spotify is very easy to cancel (Napster is a bit long winded) so you could always test the water with either to see if you would genuinely use a subs based service enough to justify the cost.

Personally, I think Spotify has lost a bit of the initiative this week. Napsters new offering and Skys plans have offered two genuinely excellent alternatives. Napster in particular has really rejuvinated their service.

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