As I sit here working on my endless to-do list, I am listening to the older albums of one of my favorite bands, The National, on Spotify. I don't own these albums but I have unlimited access to them as well as 15 million other tracks via Spotify...sweet! It also has the ability to sync your existing iTunes library to consolidate all of your music in one place. Spotify was finally released in the US a couple of weeks ago after blowing up in Europe as the go-to way to listen to, share and stream music. There are three levels of subscription: Free, $4.99/month and $9.99/month.
The Free version contains ads and limitations on how much content you can stream. Right now you need an invitation to check it out (I have some if anyone is interested).
$4.99/month removes the annoying ads and gets you unlimited streaming.
And for $9.99/month (well worth it for me), you get the ability to sync to your mobile device (iPhone, Android) and listen to music offline when you are not connected to a network.
I have already listened to a ton of new bands that I otherwise would not have checked out. There are a few limitations. The handling of music once you "star" it is done through playlists that are not organized by artist. For example, I have "starred" over 500 new tracks but I have to scroll through the entire list to find what I want. Truthfully, this is a bit annoying but is outshined by the amount of new music I am being exposed to.
I believe this streaming/subscription model is the future of how artists will get paid and consumers will listen to music. Well worth checking it out!