I love music - even when I was young, I almost always had headphones on and have over the years developed an interest in almost every genre of music out there. So, when Spotify, a music streaming website, finally made it to the US, I signed up right away! Spotify lets you use your web browser to search for an artist or track and listen to that track right away - free. Or, you can upgrade to an inexpensive paid membership and listen to music from your iPhone or Android smartphone and store music on your computer so that you can listen even when you're not connected to the Internet (perfect for laptops). I don't even both turning on the radio in my car anymore, and I'm tempted to cancel our XM subscription now, too, and save quite a bit of money because Spotify gives me exactly the music I want, when I want it, with no commercials.
The only downside to Spotify for me so far has been the fact that unlike sites like Pandora, Spotify doesn't suggest music you might like or build playlists for you. You have to know what you want to listen to and create a playlist or manually select the next song to play as each song ends. However, I've discovered two great services that make up for this shortcoming - ShareMyPlaylists.com and EchoFi. ShareMyPlaylists.com lets anyone build a Spotify playlist around a theme and then share it so that you can click on the playlist on ShareMyPlaylists.com and have it immediately appear in your Spotify account. So, have a particular artist you like? Want to listen to this week's top 40? Huge fan of 80's music like I am? There's a playlist for that!
EchoFi, on the other hand, works more like Pandora.com - you enter an artist you like and it uses Spotify to play songs that it thinks you will like, allowing you to mark songs you do or don't like so that it can fine-tune its recommendations to your tastes.
I have a number of Spotify invites left, so if you're interested in Spotify, let me know and I'll send you an invite!