When it comes to music, we have a lot of choices for our BlackBerry devices. Until recently, here in Canada Spotify wasn’t one of them. While I wasn’t looking, Spotify launched on September 30th 2014.
A few days ago a friend of mine was asking if I’d heard of a new streaming service but could not remember its name. Off to the web search I went, and discovered that Spotify was now available to me. Immediately I went to Amazon and downloaded the app, and have been putting it through its paces ever since.
What is Spotify?
Spotify is a commercial music streaming service providing digital rights management-restricted content from record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. Music can be browsed or searched by artist, album, genre, playlist, or record label. Paid “Premium” subscriptions remove advertisements and allow users to download music to listen to offline. On computers, a link allows users to purchase selected material via partner retailers.
The app is available from both Amazon, and Snap. Both work well on the Z10, Z30, and Passport whether you’re running 10.2.1.xxxx or the leaked 10.3.1.xxxx. Interestingly though, on devices running 10.2.1.xxxx you can see album art whereas on 10.3.1.xxxx you cannot. Odd, but that’s a leak for you.
Setting up your account is easy. You can either create your account via Facebook (not this cowboy), or just use an email address and password.
So far I’ve had a lot of fun browsing through various genres and sampling different offerings, mostly in the “Rock” category, but there is a ton of different musical types and styles to keep you busy for a very long time.
The playback is so smooth I’d say it comes close to being flawless not only on my home WiFi, but also in my car using mobile data! Speaking of streaming in the car, I was pleasantly surprised that the play/pause controls along with skipping to the next track works a treat using the buttons on my dash and steering wheel! The song name is also displayed on my car stereo as well, nice touch.
In settings you can choose between normal quality, high quality, and extreme quality, the latter being only available to paid subscribers. I’m thinking that I will become a paid subscriber soon which gets rid of ads, and allows for downloading of songs to listen offline as well.
Although there’s a graphic equalizer in settings along with bass boost, so far they don’t work for me. Not to worry, the sound quality is excellent, and in the car, or streaming to my TV/stereo via WiDi/Miracast I don’t need the EQ really.
Of course when you are out and about (not on WiFi) you may be concerned about data usage, so here are some approximate consumption stats for you:
Without caching and when you’re not listening offline, this is roughly how far 1GB of data will go at the different streaming qualities available:
- Normal – At 96kbps you can stream roughly 24 hours of content with 1GB of data
- High – At 160kbps you can stream roughly 14.5 hours of content with 1GB of data
- Extreme – At 320kbps you can stream roughly 7.25 hours of content with 1GB of data
Spotify will also use some data to send logs, metadata and to download cover arts.
And for those technical types:
Audio streams are in the Vorbis format at q5 (ca. 160 kbit/s), or optional q9 (ca. 320 kbit/s) for Premium subscribers. Spotify has a median playback latency of 265 ms. It amounts to 390 ms without local cache usage.
As of version 0.4.3, it is possible to also play back local MP3 and AAC files, though this does not work in Linux using Wine because Spotify is “…blocking codecs with the identifier “WINE-MPEG3″ until the Wine system works satisfactorily.” However, the native Linux version supports local files.
Overall I find this app to be my current favourite music app, and as previously stated I’m seriously thinking of subscribing at $10.00/month. I’ll give it a few more days of testing.
If you’re into music, give it a try. You might get hooked… like I did.
Rock on, and rock out!