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Spotify Tips For Beginners And Newbies: The Ultimate Guide

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 08/18/11 11:30 AM ET   Updated: 10/18/11 06:12 AM ET

Since its U.S. launch on July 14, Spotify has attracted at least 1.4 million American users; if you've read about the miracle wonders of Spotify and how it is going to change the way you listen to music, perhaps you are one of those 1.4 million.

Whether you're looking to ditch iTunes or just taking it around for a test-drive, Spotify can be a little confusing. Once you've gotten your Spotify invite, downloaded the Spotify application, and imported all of your music, though: What's next? How do you use Spotify and all its features to your full advantage? And what are you missing?

Here are some basic tips for any Spotify beginner feeling overwhelmed or confused by their strange new music player, or curious users hoping to learn more about the Swedish import:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Spotify was from Britain. It is, in fact, from Sweden.

Getting Spotify: The 3 Plans
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There are 3 Spotify pay plans, and which one you select determines the amount of music you can play and where you can play it.

Spotify Free is, as the name implies, free. You will hear occasional advertisements in between your music (but ONLY when you're playing Spotify's songs--when you are playing your own songs, there are no advertisements), and you get 20 hours of listening time per month.

Spotify Unlimited removes the listening cap and also all your advertisements. For $5 a month, you essentially get unlimited listening (hence the name) without commercials interrupting your music.

Spotify Premium is $10 per month and is really all about access. With Premium, you have the option to download Spotify songs to your computer so that you can listen to them when not connected to the Internet; you can stream Spotify on your cell phone and download Spotify songs your cell.

A warning, though: If you cancel your Premium subscription, you lose the ability to listen to all the songs you downloaded from Spotify offline. Your Spotify music will still exist in playlists on your desktop, but you will no longer be able to hear them without an Internet connection or on your cell phone.
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