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Is Free Spotify really worth it?

Image: Spotify

Spotify has just reworked its free version, which means you'll get more than ever without having to pay anything ̵

1; (some) on-demand playlists on mobile, unlimited spips (on some playlists), and personalized recommendations to better reflect your tastes. Does Spotify Premium make it a waste of money?

We've launched the redesigned Spotify app on iOS to take a look at the new features on the phone and compare them with 9.99 per month subscription. As for the desktop apps, not much has changed, but do not worry, we've also covered the few changes that are there.

Spotify on Mobile

Here are the most changes in Free-Animal are centered. Specifically, Spotify creates 15 personalized playlists for each non-paying user, generated automatically from what you've heard, what you favored and what you told Spotify.

These 15 playlists – including your daily and weekly mixes, as well as tedious playlists related to your favorite music genres – have abolished many of the usual mobile device restrictions on the phone. You can not choose what's in those playlists (apart from suggesting artists and songs), but you can play them through in any order and skip an unlimited number of songs.

Jagged playlists on mobile devices. [19659008] Screenshot: Gizmodo

Your usual playlists that you created yourself can only be mixed on mobile devices. So you can choose exactly which songs you want to hear, but not in what order – and you can only search for the desired track six times an hour. These playlists are marked with a blue shuffle icon throughout the mobile app.

Spotify also adds titles with smart recommendations to this playlist. Go into shuffle mode and you may find songs you've never put in these playlists (though they're probably from the same or very similar artists).

Premium Extras and Playlists at the Free Level.
Screenshot: Gizmodo
19659002] Then there are the ads that cut every few songs to get you upgraded to Premium or tell you something about what you want to spend your money on. This advertising can be annoying if it breaks the flow of your music, but it does not cause much inconvenience if you get access to almost any song you want to listen to for free.

Upgrade to Spotify Premium, and all these limitations are gone. Listen to any playlist in any order and control your listening experience song by song. There are no playlist skip restrictions and no ads.

New search and playlist options.
Screenshot: Spotify

A few other very useful extras come with a premium subscription: the option to download music to your devices so you do not have to stream music while you're away, and music quality Extreme (320kbps instead of 160kbps) can access. These alone can be worth the premium subscription, depending on your listening habits on mobile devices.

At Spotify's free-of-charge level for mobile apps, Spotify has now become easier to identify What you like and dislike – and on top of that, you'll get 15 "pick and play" playlists with recommendations you can choose in any order and with play an unlimited number of skips. It does not really move the needle too far in terms of free Spotify versus Spotify Premium, and does not give you so much more control over your music.

Spotify on the desktop

There is much more parity between Free Tier and premium users when it comes to Spotify desktop apps. The skip and shuffle restrictions will be lifted for non-paying users, so you can queue up your favorite songs in any order and insert them between the tracks you choose, without random recommendations.

The ads are still there, every handful of songs, and they may remain the biggest difference between free and premium accounts on the desktop. Allegedly, they are helping to cover the cost of these 90 million free-tier users.

Spotify Free on the desktop
Screenshot: Gizmodo

Other limitations for non-paying users on the desktop are the limitations of streaming quality tracks and blocking access to the offline download option. This is not so important on the desktop, if you are probably constantly on the W-LAN, but it helps when traveling and in broken wireless networks.

It's worth noting that the iPad's large screen means it's a desktop device – you can use the iPad app just like the desktop app on the free tier, so you can play any track in any order , where the advertising is interspersed.

Spotify Free on the desktop [19659008] Screenshot: Gizmodo

If you prefer to listen to most of your Spotify devices on a laptop, desktop, or iPad rather than on a phone, the free-user restrictions will not hard to hit. They essentially deal with regular audio advertisements and have no access to offline downloads or higher quality music. Whether that's worth it is up to you.

For those who spend a lot of their time listening to mobile devices, paying for a premium subscription to Spotify's full experience is much easier to justify. If you do not, you'll mainly hear music that Spotify recommends in the mobile apps and a few songs you've selected.

Your Other Free Options

This is Known Apple Music does not have a free tier and seems to be different from Spotify in this way. If you really do not want to pay for Spotify and the free tier is a bit too restrictive, what are your other options?

Regarding competing music streaming services, Deezer offers a free tier with similar restrictions as Spotify: It is unlikely that you will switch from one service to another as a non-paying user, as you will experience the same experience differently Get apps.

Deezerr's random mode is called Flow.
Screenshot: Deezer

At the time of writing, Google Play Music continues to exist and there is a free option. However, if you do not pay, you will need to upload your already uploaded titles. So in the end you will still pay for your music. More attractive is the service that Google Play Music will soon follow: YouTube. This is already a popular source for free, advertising-supported music for millions of us, and the rumor is that Google will continue to expand that in the future.

There's a lot you can do with YouTube and music: mix together, create custom playlists, and even queues on a Chromecast. Like the free Spotify version, you'll need to listen to a few commercials, but at least you can select the songs you hear and in what order – even if extras like background playback on mobile devices and offline caching are not yet available [19659035] YouTube is a free music destination for many.

Screenshot: YouTube

Internet radio and services like the free version of Pandora are another option, even if you get the taste of human DJs and coded algorithms, rather than being able to hire the titles you like actually want to hear.

While Spotify Premium remains a clear shortcut over Spotify Free, the free level remains one of the best places for a huge music catalog that costs you nothing to listen to. As for the range of music and features offered for free, it's only true competitors like Deezer and YouTube who make Google's plans even more interesting.

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