September 18, 2011

Playing with Virgin Media's Spotify freebie

After the announcement brouhaha it was a pretty quiet launch for the Spotify service for Virgin Media customers - there's still nothing I can see about it on Virgin's own site - but I signed up to the free first twelve months of service and have finally found the time to have a play.
It's pretty good. In fact, it's better than I expected: the full Premium package no less, so no ads, you can play your music offline on both your computer and your phone (Android and iPhones only I think) and it's pretty good sound quality. Not always the sound quality advertised (it's supposed to be 320k but according to this blog that's not always the case) but stil perfectly fine for casual listening.
There are artists missing from the huge inventory (no Beatles or Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin, the usual digital refuseniks) but pretty much something for everyone there. I'd recommend it for those who have limited drive capacity on their phones (but watch those data charges) or if, like me, you just want to briefly reaquaint yourself with some old friends you don't have on CD or your iPod these days. Will I pay for the service when it's no longer free? Not sure. Depends on the price and how much I use it in the months to come.
One thing missing is an App to stream the service via my TiVo: hopefully someone has already got that in the works as that would increase the usage in the Nialli household considerably.
Anyone else given it a go?

16 comments:

Moroboshi said...

I've been using it on my iPhone. I like the ability to instantly get access to a decent library of music (although it's much smaller than the libraries of iTunes and Amazon MP3), but I find the Spotify app rather clunky to use.

I'm an organised person, so I like everything to be neat, and that includes MP3s. So I have everything tagged and can sort by genre, artist, album etc. Spotify doesn't do this, instead only allowing songs to be grouped as playlists. I found that after a few days I had dozens of unsorted playlists in an entirely random order and the only way to organise them is 100% manually on the Spotify desktop client. That become tiresome very, very quickly.

So for me it's something which has potential, but it let down by sloppy interface design and a lacking catalogue. I also worry about those microscopic 3G data caps, which I would hit within a day at most if I actually used Spotify fully.

It also strikes me as odd that Spotify have so far gained so little support with device manufacturers. There's no Spotify on the Xbox 360 or PS3, or the Apple TV, or even with TIVO. They don't even have an iPad app... Definitely a case of 'must try harder'.

Andrew Ducker said...

I already have Spotify, and love it.

What I want to know is when we're going to get it on the TV! I want Spotify in the living room!

David said...

loving the free spotify account very good quality

streaky_7 said...

I don't think I get it. I have an iPhone and I think I need to look at it again as I must be missing the point. I don't see how this benefits me but it mist be me not working it right. It just seems to mimic my playlists that were in my iTunes library. And then it dumped it on my iPhone killing all my memory. And any playlists I wanted on my iPhone were on it already. And I can download anything I want from other websites. I assume the only advantage is you can listen to things without downloading them and it's legal. But maybe I need another play.

I defo agree the best use for this will be if u can use it through TiVo. Then it would be worth it

manu76 said...

it`s free for 12 months, so no one can have any complaints at all really...I quite like it, and as I said, its free

Dazz285 said...

Lucky you guys.. I came back off holiday the day after the offer ended.
VM kept that one quite..

Lula said...

We followed the link to sign up, but were politely told as we didn't receive the offer from Virgin directly, we were not entitled to free Spotify.

marcml987 said...

Firstly just a quick thank you to Nialli for a great blog. Have learnt a lot about TiVo, which has made my user experience all the more pleasurable. and sorry for posting on an unrelated thread...

Anyhow do excuse the lack of detail on this, as i know that sometimes people can question the veracity of some comments. With that out of the way, i had a call from Virgin today to ask me if I had any questions on my TiVo to help me get the best out of it. Kind of helpful, but nothing i haven't learmt from here.

I asked about Sky Atlantic (not often you get to talk to someone truly helpful from Virgin so took my chance) and he said that they had been informed last week that a deal was being done and we would have it by the end of the year. I guess it would be good to have this corroborated by someone on this blog that works for them, but clearly good news if true...

Moroboshi said...

@marcml987 Word of warning on promises from Virgin CS and engineers. They're usually pretty ill-informed and say anything to please customers.

marcml987 said...

I feared as much

Nialli said...

@marcml987: thanks for the kind words about the blog.
I've asked a handful of people I know around Virgin Media about what you were told and will let you know what I get back. Unfortunately, the wise Morobishi speaks the truth about the reliability of some comments made by some VM staff, but you never know...

Nialli said...

@Lula: You're not the first to say they were unable to take up the offer. I never got the original email either...but I did get the free Spotify account, albeit a few weeks after I made the post.
I find it strange that the deal was done and then...silence. No doubt it will be promoted as some point, but I've not seen anything anywhere promoting the service aside from what I've posted already on the blog. Most odd.

Nialli said...

@marcml987: I got a reply on the "Sky Atlantic by the end of the year" you were told and sadly there's nothing official being said - it's still said to be "too expensive". Having said that, my contact did say that the content team plays its cards pretty close to its chest so you never know.
Sky Anytime+ though is very close.

marcml987 said...

Hey ho, knew it was too good to be true.

Keep up the good work

campbellg said...

Yup, keep up the good work Nialli.

Just a shame VM don't!!

gmcausland said...

I love Spotify on my computer. Free for a year! Thanks VM!