Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Can You Spotify It?

Recently, I rigged up a Dell Studio PC (one of the new breed of tiny, quiet desktops) to my LCD using HDMI and then routed the sound through my sound system. I bought a very slick Toshiba wireless keyboard. I then bookmarked the main video sites and use the keyboard as a remote so that I had a 'proper' internet TV experience.

But, as fate would have it, the main use I make of this rig is to listen to music. Despite having around 900 albums on the hard drive of this machine and the nice interface from the folks at Windows Media, I still find myself going to Spotify and typing in random artists. The range isn't perfect by any means (whatever happened to Judie Tzuke, Bandit, Jimmy Barnes and Doll By Doll ?), but it's just about good enough.

In fact it's addictive and is, if my acquaintances are anything to go by, replacing radio rapidly in the workplace. Having the iPhone version approved is another boon to the company, who seem to have overtaken pioneers Last.fm and Pandora in the fast lane of future music delivery.

As I sit and wait for snailmailers Lovefilm to send me my latest fix of The Wire, it does beg the question why they can't do the same for video. Netflix are providing a similar kind of service in the US, but in the UK, Lovefilm are proving very slow to get their online offering sorted.

And it also begs the question as to whether Spotify is subsidising viewers or if it's got a coherent business model based on advertising or subscription.

Certainly, if Mrrs Murdoch want a nudge in the right direction as to how to charge for online, Spotify, er, hits the spot. Maybe Hulu UK will be their play.

For one, I think Spotify may have stolen their lunch without them noticing.