Digital music might not have the same allure as sitting down to listen to a record on your turntable, but what it lacks in atmosphere, it makes up for in convenience — especially when you aren't home with your collection.
It's been five years since Spotify publicly launched and shifted the music industry's focus toward streaming as a way to combat illegal downloading. While the streaming business model is far from perfect, even the most casual music fan should test out streaming while it's still growing.
If you're just dipping your toe into the stream, follow our beginner's guide and soon you'll be listening to Spotify's massive library without the worry of losing precious hard drive space.
As with most services, you can register for Spotify by connecting your Facebook account for optimal social features, or create an account with your email address.
Pick the subscription that suits your music habits. The prices are in USD, but the tiers are the same internationally: No cost will get you desktop listening interrupted by ads; $4.99 per month allows for unlimited desktop streaming; users who pay the premium $9.99 per month can listen on all desktop (via desktop app or web player) and mobile devices with offline syncing privileges on mobile (Spotify Radio is the only free mobile feature.)
Users at the premium tier can also listen to music at a higher bit rate, which is essential for anyone who has quality headphones or earbuds.