Previously, one needed an invitation to join the free Spotify tier. I was lucky enough to receive such a coveted invite when they first launched in Europe. After many months of  streaming music for free from my desktop,  the dream ended. The ads started getting more frequent. More annoying. At that time, I happily agreed to switch to a paid premium account – and have not looked back since then.  In the past, I’ve tried all alternatives – deezer and last.fm being two good ones.  In my opinion, Spotify just got it right, so it was worth every penny I was paying!

Only 90 seconds away form a world of music (if you have a Facebook account)

Yet, yesterday, big news hits right after Spotify and Facebook’s announcement of partnership at the f8 conference. If you don’t use Facebook, but want a Spotify account, unfortunately you will have to set up a dummy (frowned upon!) Facebook account to get access.

Luckily existing account holders don’t seem to be affected (yet?) by this new requirement.

Last time I logged in, they nicely asked me if I would like to connect with Facebook

I was happy to see that there was a Njet!!!  “No, Thanks” option.

Will Spotify remain the leading online music service?

The online music provider managed to stir up a nice big controversy in less than a day and it is all for the win for Spotify’s Facebook partnership. Spotify has already seen its Facebook-integrated users increase: Spotify Gains 1 Million New Facebook Users Following f8. Compared to the next largest competitor Rhapsody (800.000 users), Spotify has the biggest growth, as it already had the largest user base with 2 million paying customers. Spotify had also been aggressively pushing users to connect their Facebook accounts in order to view the playlists of friends via large prompts on the app’s homescreen.

No Facebook, but gone Google? Grab your Google Music Beta invite here!

This whole controversy made me think of my usage of spotify. I know at the moment I am safe to think that I don’t need to connect to Facebook to be able to access to Spotify but I realize a ‘forced connect’ might be looming around the corner.  When that day arrives, I will cancel my spotify membership.  I love the idea of having access to my friends’s playlists and to endless amounts of music hassle free – but at the end of the day I keep listening to the same music. This makes me itch to try something brand new. So, my dear friend and collegue sent me an invite to test Google Music Beta.  Now, I too have some spare invites to shiny-looking Google Music Beta, so if you’re interested just drop a note in the comments (or say ‘Hi’ on G+) to get your invite!

Do I need a Digital ID?

Recently, I came across an ‘ancient’  blog,  written in 2009 on the New York Times “Can Facebook Build a Better Passport?” Forward thinkers like Esther Dyson have been predicting for a long time that we will create a virtual representation of our identities that may help mediate how we connect to (and hide from) others online.

And here I choose to  not give in to Facebook and to all it’s wonderful seemless features.  Luckily, for now, I do not need a Facebook passport to access my music. Yet.