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Caroline Vella Headshot

Do You Spotify?

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OK, no... don't panic. It has nothing to do with adult diapers. Spotify is the music streaming service that has made a big splash in the U.K. and is now hoping to do the same here in the U.S. I've been checking it out over the past few weeks and for the most part it's been pretty good.

But let me preface that by saying as much as I have grown to love and embrace new technology, in many ways, I'm an old dinosaur at heart. I love the physical product... records, CDs, books, etc. and I really miss wandering record and book stores. I also love discovering new music through good old fashioned radio. But at the same time, I do fear extinction and I don't want to be left in the dark.

So with that, I signed up for Spotify and to avoid diving in all the way, I've been getting my feet wet with the free account... which gives access to their full library along with commercial interruptions. The best part has been able to listen to new records as they've been released and I like being able to dig deeper into an artist that I may have discovered in my travels.

I find they don't exactly make it easy to browse so it's helpful to know what you're looking for. They do have millions of tracks but they don't have everything... there are some holes with older stuff or smaller indie labels. The commercials are a nuisance mainly because they don't advertise anything even remotely close to what I'm interested in, so it might be worth bypassing with the $4.99 Unlimited plan or $9.99 Premium, which lets you take it mobile (full details here).

The make or break part of the deal is that you need to link your Spotify with your Facebook account. It may deter some but it is cool to be able to share tracks and playlists with your friends. It makes music a social experience again or at least as close as it's going to get. Just be sure to adjust your settings if you don't want all of your friends to see your every last listen. Maybe everyone doesn't need to know you've been listening to {insert guilty pleasure here}.

I still haven't merged my iTunes library (that's a really big commitment) or explored the radio feature and I haven't even decided if I'm going to take the plunge and upgrade. All I know is everyday my list of friends signing up grows so it is catching on and in the end it has led me to buy new music. Some say Apple's iCloud has plans to rain all over their parade but that remains to be seen... especially now that they're Jobs-less.

Either way, like it or not, streaming is here to stay so you better get yourself prepared because there's nothing good about getting caught off guard. Here's a Boomitude.com Spotify playlist with some of our recent favorites to get you going.

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