Spotify – better than iTunes for music purchases?

spotify-logo.pngSpotify continued adding to its service today by allowing users to download tracks directly from Spotify onto their hard drive. Of course, users have been able to purchase MP3 tracks for a few months now but only by right-clicking tracks and being taken to 7digital’s website. Now everything has been streamlined and can be done directly within the Spotify interface. From now on, users will see a “Buy” button (which annoyingly for many paid-up Premium members can’t be removed or deactivated) next to tracks which when clicked, allows you to enter card details.

Note that the new download purchase option will initially be available in the UK and Germany, France, Italy and Spain with Sweden, Norway and Finland following in a few weeks’ time. It’s not clear how much each track costs but Spotify say once purchased, you will be able to download them a further 3-5 times depending on the label. There is no DRM attached to tracks so they can be transferred to any external device and most tracks are in very high quality 256/320kpbs MP3 format. This all gives Spotify a distinct advantage over iTunes downloads which only allow 20 second previews and one download per song.

However, while I can see that this purchase option will appeal to free users of the service so that they can download the odd track they really like, it will surely appeal less to Premium users. Those that are already paying around $10 a month for ad-free listening will probably see no reason why they should stump-up extra cash just for the pleasure of owning tracks. Especially now that they can use Spotify on their iPhone or Android mobile and use the offline listening function to access music when no internet connection is available.

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