Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spotify Launches in the U.S.; Joan Jett, Patti Smith Play Free Shows Tonight

The wait is over: Spotify is available to American music lovers as of July 14.

Spotify U.S. launches: After many false starts, the Spotify music streaming service arrived stateside today, July 14th. If you want to use the free service, you'll need to enter your e-mail address to get an invite (I have no idea how long it might take to get one). Spotify also has two options for paid service, at $4.99 and $9.99 a month, that you can sign up for now, without an invite.

If you use the website Klout, you may be able to get a free Spotify account right away through their "perks" program, depending on your "klout" level. (That's how I got my Spotify account today, although my klout score is not that high.)

So far I've been able to listen to a few albums in their entirety (the new Foo Fighters and Taking Back Sunday), so haven't had time to really explore the service too much. It works and sounds good so far, and the ads weren't too intrusive, in my opinion. I'll post more of my impressions of Spotify once I kick the tires a little more.

There was one disturbing note in using Spotify: when I opened the application with my iPod plugged in and iTunes open, Spotify was encouraging me to erase the music, movies, and similar content on my iPod. Huh? Needless to say, I didn't click on that option, and ejected my iPod so there was not even a possibility that its contents could be wiped out.

So what can Spotify do, in its free and paid versions? Spotify's blog introduces the services and explains the options. And Electronista has a quick hands-on guide to the premium Spotify features, with screen shots.

Free NYC shows tonight: Tonight is a good night for free gigs in the City. Here are some of the options:

* Joan Jett and Girl in a Coma, Seaside Summer Concerts, Coney Island, 7:30 p.m.
* Patti Smith and her band, River to River Festival, Castle Clinton, 7 p.m. (free tickets available at 5 p.m. at the site; first come, first served)
* Tune-Yards with Austra, RiverRocks, Hudson River Park (Pier 54), doors: 6 p.m. (show time not listed)

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