How Is Spotify Different from iTunes?
Given the popularity of iPods, iPhones, and iPads, chances are you're familiar with Apple's iTunes music player. iTunes is an application that lets you play and manage all your digital music, with special emphasis on purchasing and downloading music from Apple's iTunes Store.
Even though the interfaces are similar, Spotify is much different from iTunes, in that it's a subscription service, not a download service. Let me explain.
With iTunes, you purchase and download the individual tracks you want. You pay anywhere from 99 cents to $1.29 per track, and the music files are then downloaded to and stored on your computer. Once purchased, you own the track, and can play it back on a specified number of other devices.
Spotify, however, is a streaming music subscription service. You don't pay by the track; instead, you pay a set monthly fee. This lets you listen to as much music as you want, anytime you wantwith the 10-hour limitation of the Free plan, of course.
The upside of Spotify versus iTunes is definitely cost. Even if you go with Spotify's Premium plan, you're only paying $9.99 per month. You'll pay that much (or more) if you purchase just 10 tracks per month from the iTunes Store. Spotify is an "all you can eat" plan, which is very attractive to frequent listeners.
The downside of this is that you don't own the music you listen to on Spotify. It's more like listening to a radio station than listening to your own CDsalbeit a very personalized station, and one where you control the programming. If and when you cancel your Spotify subscription, all your music and playlists are lost. And if Spotify wants or has to pull a song from its service, it's no longer available to you, either.
As to selection, they're close. iTunes has around 18 million songs available for download; Spotify has 15 million tunes in its collection. It's likely you'll find a similar selection with both services.
So if you're a heavy music listener, especially one on a budget, Spotify is worth checking out. I recommend going with the Free version first and checking to see that Spotify has the specific music you likethen upgrading to one of the other plans for enhanced usability.