The Truth About Spotify: It Will Crush iTunes As Soon As It Comes To The U.S.

Spotify founders Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek

Photo: Spotify

For those in the know, Spotify is the one service music lovers in the U.S. are dying for.Spotify takes a new approach to music streaming on the desktop and mobile. Users can stream from a library of millions of songs, purchase tracks, and store playlists on Android or iPhone.

Click here to find out why Spotify will crush iTunes >

And with it’s latest update allowing you to sync to iPods, Spotify could be a replacement for iTunes altogether.

Right now, Spotify is only available in a few European countries including Sweden (where Spotify is based), United Kingdom, Spain, and France. Every few months a new report pops up that Spotify is nearing an agreement with record labels to finally allow the service to come to the U.S.

So far, no dice.

While we wait, the folks at Spotify gave me an exclusive look at their apps for desktop and mobile.

In a nutshell: Spotify lives up to the hype.

The Best iTunes Replacement So Far

I think the best feature, and the one that really kills iTunes, is the ability to sync music to your Android or iPhone over Wi-Fi. (Something iPhone owners have been dying for.)

Spotify's desktop app lets you create playlists that you can then sync to the mobile app on your phone. If the songs you choose aren't available in Spotify's streaming library, you can transfer the file to your phone over Wi-Fi.

It has already replaced the iPod app on my iPhone.

Sharing And Finding New Music Is Easy

I also like the social aspect of Spotify. You can make playlists and share them with other Spotify users over Twitter and Facebook. And with Facebook built in to the desktop app, you can automatically keep up with what your friends are listening to. Very cool.

The streaming library is huge. I could find songs by most artists I searched for, although not EVERY song by that artist.

Still, it's more than enough, and you'll have no problem getting the music you want. And they are all available for streaming on your smartphone.

But streaming isn't your only option. If you want to listen to music offline, you can cache recently played songs to your hard drive. (Just make sure you adjust how much space you allow for this or you could wind up with a full hard drive.)

How Much Does It Cost?

Spotify only lets you stream three hours of music per week, at a maximum of 15 hours per month (in case a month bleeds into a 5th week). You'll also have to listen to the occasional ad, just like you would on Pandora.

There are two paid plans, both allow you to listen to unlimited streaming music without ads:

The Unlimited plan, which costs £4.99 or €4.99 per month (less than $10 USD), will let you stream an unlimited amount of music without ads and import your current collection into the Spotify app from your computer.

The Premium plan costs £9.99 or €9.99 (around $15 USD) and adds even more features. You can store your Spotify music and playlists on your mobile device so you can still listen if you're not connected to the internet. You also get higher quality music, that streams at a crystal clear 320 Kbps.

When you download the desktop app, you have to log in with your Spotify account

Make sure you agree to the Terms of Service before you continue

You can listen to music stored on your computer or search Spotify's library of streaming music

Spotify automatically scans your computer for your music. It takes no time at all

You can check out the latest artists and stream their songs for free within the desktop app

The song streams almost immediately, almost as if the song was stored on your computer

You can also search for artists for music to stream

Once you find a song you like, you can double click to listen.

Making a playlist is easy. You can select songs stored on your computer or ones from Spotify's streaming library.

Click the Share button to post a link of your playlist to Facebook or Twitter. Your friends and followers can click the link and listen to your mix on their own Spotify account.

Here's what the link to a playlist looks like when you share on Facebook

When you see a playlist link shared by someone else, you can click it to listen.

When listening to a shared playlist, make sure your computer knows to open it in Spotify

Neat! Now you can stream the same music your friend was just listening to. If you like the songs, you can purchase them too.

You can sign in to Facebook within the desktop app. You'll automatically see other Facebook friends on Spotify. From here, you can listen to the playlists they shared

Now the best part: You can sync your playlists and music to your iPhone or Android over Wi-Fi. Make sure your phone is connected to the same wireless router and launch the mobile app.

Here's icon for Spotify's iPhone app. Tap to open

Log in with your Spotify account info

Make sure you accept the Terms of Use

Your songs will begin transferring from your computer to your iPhone. Keep in mind that you're limited by your Wi-Fi connection speed, so the large playlists may take a while to load

After the download, you can tap a song to play it

You can also search for new music to stream, just like you can on the desktop app

Tap a song, and the track starts playing right away

You can add streaming tracks to a playlist

You can share your tracks from the app over e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter

Looking for another great music streaming service?

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.