May 4, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Spotify has been working to improve its Android app and overall service, but these “improvements” may actually be for the worst. The music streaming service announced today that the Spotify Mobile app is now available to “everyone,” premium account be damned. But don’t get too excited because the streaming of the entire Spotify library still requires a premium account; non-premium users only get to access the mobile app so they can sync their music purchased from Spotify or stored on their computer.
Yes, you can buy music from Spotify. Rather than listen to streams over-and-over again, users can now purchase all of the songs on their custom playlists in “MP3 bundles” that can be as little as 50p per song (prices will vary). The ability to own songs on a playlist is why the mobile app was opened to more customers. The announcement initially touched off excitement that Spotify would provide mobile streaming of all songs to Android devices. However, an employee soon confirmed a user’s complaint that people who opt for the advertising-supported free service still cannot have full access to the app.
While the ability to own a song is great, it comes at a price. Spotify free users will be able to listen to a song only five times. If a user does not purchase a song after the five play limit is reached, it will no longer appear in playlists. Moreover, non-premium users will be limited to 10 hours of playback per month. I originally lusted after Spotify, but not under these circumstances.