iTunes may have revolutionized the way we listen to music, but it’s no secret that Apple’s music app has become kind of a mess. Paying for songs has been out of the question since streaming became a thing; the program crashes frequently; it uploads my favorite songs out of my library and into iCloud without asking—my issues with iTunes are endless. Luckily, Apple has redeemed itself with Apple Music (best three-month long free trial of my life), but students especially may find the $9.99 monthly fee to be a bit pricey.
Are we forever doomed to low-quality MP3s ripped from YouTube? How much more humiliation must we suffer when an ad interrupts the perfect playlist? Fear not! A few months ago, I caved and subscribed to Spotify Premium, which boasts a $5/month deal for students. Here are a few reasons it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made:
As I said, $10 a month can be a lot for a student. That’s $120 a year that could be put toward something sensible, like beer. Spotify understands this. Its student discount is a crazy good deal: you can buy beer and have unlimited music!
One of the features that sets Spotify apart from other programs is just how thoughtful it is. Every Monday, you get a new playlist full of recommendations based on what you’ve been listening to. Discover Weekly makes my Mondays so much better, and I’ve found a ton of obscure music through it. Hipster points!
You can see what your friends are listening to
Okay, so most of the time I use this feature to make fun of my friend’s obsession with Li’l Wayne, but it’s another great way to discover music.
Browsing is super easy
Whether you’re walking to class or in between sets at the gym, nobody wants to spend ages trying to find a perfect soundtrack. Spotify’s “Browse” section is super easy to navigate: you can see what’s new, pick a specific mood/genre to play from, or look through the “Discover” tab for music the program knows you’ll enjoy.
All the music, all the time
This is the beauty of streaming: if you have WiFi or data, you can listen to that song you can’t get out of your head on the spot, even if it’s not in your music library. Plus, your music doesn’t take up a ton of space on your device. Spotify Premium also lets users save music for offline listening, so you can have Nick Jonas with you in an airplane, foreign country, or sketchy gas station!
No more ads!
Everyone in your hall is totally jamming to your “Teens Chilling In a Dorm” playlist…until it’s interrupted by a commercial. Spotify ads are annoying, frequent, and pretty much the reason I upgraded to Premium in the first place. But hey, it turned out to be totally worth it!
Of course, nothing is perfect. If you’re considering Spotify Premium, there is one noteworthy downside:
There is one song by Prince on Spotify. One. I know this isn’t Spotify’s fault. I know Prince and Prince’s people didn’t want his music on the Internet. I’m trying to come to terms with what Prince would have wanted, but it’s hard. This is the one downfall I’ve experienced in my time using Spotify Premium.
If you’re a college student who can scrape together $5 a month, I highly recommend Spotify Premium for your musical needs. If you happen to be a Prince super fan who only listens to funk, I would instead recommend scouring record stores for your dose of Purple Rain.