We've been using Spotify for a while now and the time has come to write a thing about the fact that it is stupidly incredible.
1. It's a program, like iTunes, that you download and install on your PC or Mac.
2. It's got music in it. A LOT of music. Not quite everything ever recorded, but basically everything you want.
3. It streams these songs, in full, and in high quality.
4. It's legal. Every now and again (like, once an hour) you'll hear a short advert between songs. That's it.
5. You can create playlists from songs you like.
6. You can share these playlists. Here's one we made quickly, called 'Songs That Would Sound Better With A Donk On Them'. If you've got Spotify on your computer and you click that link, it opens the playlist and starts playing it. (Amazing.)
7. You can ALSO do collaborative playlists, which anyone on Spotify can add stuff to. Here's one we've created, called 'Popjustice Free For All'. If you've got Spotify, you click that link and can start adding songs to it. The playlist updates immediately, so everyone else who'd looking at it sees your song appear. (Also amazing.)
8. If you remember the first few months of Napster when everyone went a bit mental and listened to loads of music ALL the time and loved it and was happy the whole time and things seemed a lot easier and people didn't cry, or shout, or lie to each other but somehow went through life feeling okay about stuff. Do you remember? It wasn't really so long ago — not that you'd guess when you look outside your window and see what's happening in the world.
9. It's got LOADS of Girls Aloud.
10. So there you go — not exactly the future of music but it smells a little bit like it and it's something exciting to make up for all the music shops closing and nobody being able to buy CDs etc. Spotify is still in a sort of not-secret 'secret' phase at the moment but you can sign up for it here, download it and get on with it. This doesn't work in all countries but it works in quite a few and it really is very very good.