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Spotify For Dummies

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Spotify For Dummies, 9781119952343 (1119952344), For Dummies, 2011
T here’s no denying it: A revolution in how people consume music is well underway, and Spotify’s at the center of all the action. Just a decade ago, it was normal for people to wander into a music store and buy an artist’s CD after hearing a few catchy tracks on the radio or reading a few good newspaper reviews.

Then, when music sharing over the Internet became mainstream around 2000, millions realized just how easy it was to store digital music on computers. Who needed a CD?

Also around this time, portable music players became popular. You could copy thousands of your digital tracks onto matchbox-sized gadgets. Astonishing! Yet, for all the technical innovation, artists still weren’t being compensated fairly for their efforts because most digital music was being swapped on illegal networks. Then, iTunes came along and blew everyone away, introducing a simple click-and-buy mechanism to let people download music legally without guilt and sync tracks seamlessly to their iPods.

And now? Prepare to get ready for an even bigger change. Music no longer takes up storage space on your computer or even your portable music devices. It’s floated off into the cloud (the term used to describe content or services hosted remotely over the Internet); streaming to you through services such as Spotify.

Spotify is a Swedish company headquartered in London, U.K. It first launched in 2008 as an invite-only service in selected European countries, offering free streaming of millions of tracks in exchange for listening to a few advertisements in between. People thought of a track, and Spotify played it straightaway in high-quality audio, as if it were on a CD. Amazing! Eventually, Spotify opened up registration to everyone in its launch countries.

Spotify has plenty of healthy competition these days — Apple’s iCloud and the long-running Napster and Rhapsody, for starters, and younger companies such as MOG, Deezer, We7, Rdio, Simfy, and Grooveshark. I personally like Spotify’s reputation for speed and stability. It has a superb, tried-and-tested way of streaming music to your computer, and its fast, fully featured desktop app lets you sync music to a range of mobile devices.
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