For some people, the mind-shift from CD to digital MP3 is still too much to handle. They’re set in their ways and don’t want “none of that downloading.” For others, the impulse is to jump straight to a bit-torrent index site like The Pirate Bay, isoHunt or Demonoid for all their music needs. They’ve downloaded music for years – it’s free! it’s easy! – so why change now? Well, if you can put up with a few commercial breaks, the free version of Spotify gives you a whole heap of other advantages over bit-torrenting. Here’s how.
|Cost||Free (unless caught).||Free (or $4.99/month without adverts).|
|Legality||Not legal when files contain copyrighted material. Can lead to prosecution and criminal record.||Legal.|
|Sound Quality||Any (usually from 192kbps thru to 320kbps for MP3 or lossless FLAC)||Equivalent to 192kbps MP3 (regular) or 320kbps MP3 (some premium)|
|Availability||Most music is available from bit-torrents, but sometimes there are no seeders.||Most music is available on Spotify, but sometimes tracks are removed or not available in your territory.|
|Ease of Use||Search and play instantly.|
|Portability||Copy or sync files to each device you want to play the tracks on (or set-up a placeshifting app like Audiogalaxy).||Available on any device with Spotify installed.|
|Security||Possibility of viruses, spyware, malware, trojans.||Secure.|
|Accuracy||Possibility of fake or bogus tracks (you want Take That, you get Dolly Parton).||All tracks are as labeled (although some are occasionally mislabeled).|
|Durability||Eternal (may require move to alternative torrent sites or stealth client).||Eternal (unless killed by Apple, Google etc.)|
Those were just a few of the advantages Spotify has over bit-torrenting for MP3s. We’ve not mentioned the whole “right thing to do” or “it gives something back to the artist” argument as these are down to your own personal morality as opposed to common sense. Please let us know your thoughts or additions in the comments!