Spotify: Free, Unlimited MP3s for 6 Months

Photo (cc) by williamcho

If you’ve ever listened to MP3s, you know they’re the best way to enjoy music. They’re digital, so you can fit thousands of songs on your cell phone. They’re on-demand, so you can play any song you have whenever you like. And they’re very high quality, indistinguishable from CDs to most people.

But finding, downloading, managing, and syncing MP3s between all your different devices can be frustrating and confusing at times. It can also be expensive. Many people I know, people who would love the freedom and portability of an MP3, stay away from the format entirely because either the concept of digital music is too difficult to understand, or transferring their previously purchased music into the new format would take too much time and effort.

Fortunately, there’s a cheaper, better way to get all of the advantages of digital music without the hassle or expense.

Spotify

Imagine a program on your computer, with a matching app for your smartphone, that contains more than 15 million songs. You simply search for any song you want to hear, double click it, and it starts playing. Wouldn’t that be great? That new song you heard on the radio, you already have it. That tune you listened to every day for an entire summer in high school, it’s ready for you to play whenever you like. The music your grandparents listened to, the music your kids listen to, the music 18th century nobility listened to, all of it is in Spotify.

And how much does all this music cost? Nothing. It’s free.

As part of their introductory offer, if you sign up for an invitation on Spotify’s website, you’ll get six free months of unrestricted, unlimited access to a collection of music so massive you would never be able to gather it all on your own. My invite took about a week to arrive, but I’m finding the service well worth the wait.

After that six months is up, the deal is still pretty sweet. You can keep your free account, but will be limited to 10 hours of music per month and 5 plays per track. Spotify covers their costs by requiring you listen to about 2 minutes of ads for every hour of music, a fair trade. Or you can upgrade to a $5-a-month account that gives you back your unlimited streaming privileges and completely removes the ads.

To listen to music on an iPhone or Android device, you’ll need to purchase Spotify’s $10-a-month plan. For anyone who purchases music on a regular basis, you’ll immediately see the savings. A single song usually costs 99 cents, so anyone buying more than 10 songs a month will benefit.

Songs are normally streamed from Spotify’s servers, meaning you’ll need an Internet connection to listen to most of their songs, but any song can be marked for offline access by simply clicking a star icon next to it (and setting your starred tracks to sync offline). The song will be copied onto your computer or smartphone so that you can play it whenever you like without having to connect to the web or use any bandwidth.

You can also easily create playlists and share them with your friends, or mark them to sync to your computer for offline access. Or subscribe to a playlist someone else makes and groove to their tunes. I’ve found quite a few on ShareMyPlaylists.com. But Spotify’s not the only game in town.

Rdio

Also worth mentioning is Rdio. The concept is the same as Spotify – unlimited music from a huge collection of songs, whenever and wherever you want. But there are a few differences. Rdio only offers a seven-day free trial (not six months), and requires you to purchase their service after that. There is no free tier.

They have slightly fewer songs, a little over 10 million, but still a massive catalog of music. Pricing is the same as Spotify: $5 a month for unlimited streaming to a computer, $10 a month if you want to stream to an iPhone or Android device as well.

Without getting too technical, Rdio has better audio quality than the free or $5-a-month Spotify accounts, but Spotify’s $10-a-month account gives you access to slightly better sounding music than anything at Rdio.

TechCrunch did a fairly in-depth comparison between Spotify and Rdio. If you’re thinking of subscribing to one of the two services, it’s worth a read. But to save you a little time, I prefer Spotify.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance
8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Reviewing this critical insurance policy takes a little effort, but it pays off big.

Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security
Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security

Growing numbers of seniors are paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, but you might be able to avoid this fate.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will
8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will

Here’s why the last decades of life are harder now than they used to be.

15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

You can save a ton of money — especially if you spot any of these items.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

Does Wearing 2 Masks Protect You Better From COVID-19?
Does Wearing 2 Masks Protect You Better From COVID-19?

A growing number of people are wearing two masks instead of just one. Should you join them?

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them
5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them

State personal income tax rates, brackets and deductions just changed in these places.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.