• Sweden edition
 
Spotify service fails on music quality: report

Spotify service fails on music quality: report

Published: 22 Jul 2011 13:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jul 2011 13:55 GMT+02:00

Earlier this year, Spotify placed restrictions on its free version, slashing the amount of times a track can be played and the total amount of music users can listen to without paying, in order to attract more users to sign up for its ad-free pay service.

The premium version allows users to listen to their playlists offline and to access their music through their mobile phones. It also boasts a higher sound quality at 320 kbps.

But on Friday Swedish trade magazine Computer Sweden reported that when a holder of a premium account from the American blog Spotifyclassical checked the sound quality of 115 random tracks, only a third maintained the promised 320 kbps.

Several more random checks have been carried out, claimed the paper, showing similar results.

However, on Spotify’s website the company declares that "not all tracks are currently available in high bitrate" and thus appearing to meet marketing regulations.

The bone of legal contention appears to be a comment made by a Spotify support employee on an official support forum last year regarding the extent of the catalogue which was available at 320 kilobit/second (kbps).

“We're somewhere in the 60% range of the entire catalogue and considering that we convert based on popularity, that covers most of what people listen too,” the employee said at the time.

According to legal expert Marek Andersson at the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket), this claim could constitute false marketing.

“Someone could have read the answer and based their decision to join on that statement. Then it could fall under marketing law,” Andersson told Computer Sweden.

He stressed though that a more extensive investigation into the matter would be necessary in order to ascertain if the company is in breach of marketing laws or not.

Johan Chandokar, a sound engineer from Sveriges Radio, told the Sydsvenskan daily that the average Spotify-user probably wouldn’t notice much difference if the sound is streamed at 160 or 320 kbps.

“As it is right now it is acceptable and fully usable,” he said to the paper.

However, enthusiasts of jazz or classical music might react to the different qualities, as those sounds are more complex, he said.

At Spotify they say that all music streamed through the service is of high quality (160 kbps) and that they have a very broad catalogue of over 15 million tracks.

“All tracks are not currently available in high bitrate (320 kbps) for our Premium users, which we make clear on our website, but we are working very hard to transcode the remaining tracks, as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement.

As their catalogue increases at an average of 10,000 new tracks each day, they say it is an ongoing task, but the matter is treated as a high priority, according to the company.

Spotify launched in the United States last week with the ambitious goal of attracting 50 million US users within a year.

Spotify has 10 million users in Europe and is offering three options in the United States: a free, advertising-supported streaming service, an ad-free $4.99 a month plan for computer listening and a $9.99 a month plan allowing subscribers to download as many tracks as they want to an iPhone or Android device.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
National
Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers
Workers at the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Photo: TT

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers

Swedish car maker Saab has announced it has axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce. READ  

International
Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale
A Danish site is selling the works that the Swedish state wants destroyed. Screenshot: www.entartetekunst.dk

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale

Work by controversial jailed Swedish artist Dan Park is on sale online and could reach a gallery in Copenhagen, despite a previous exhibition being pulled. READ  

Society
Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old
Pensioners in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old

Sweden has dropped to second place in an annual index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries around the world. READ  

National
Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche
Andreas Fransson, left. Photo: Markus Alatalo

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche

UPDATED: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Sweden's Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair from Canada, were found on Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes. READ  

Politics
Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs

UPDATED: The Social Democrats and the Greens have agreed to raise unemployment payments and promised to create more jobs in the construction industry, The Local has learned. READ  

National
Ikea recalls elk pasta
Two types of pasta are affected. Photo: IKEA

Ikea recalls elk pasta

Ikea has pulled two different types of elk-shaped pasta from its stores in Sweden. READ  

Presented by Regus
How to get your own great office in Stockholm
A woman using a Regus workspace. Photo: Regus

How to get your own great office in Stockholm

Stockholm's business climate is hotter than ever, which leaves start-ups and business travellers hunting high and low for flexible office space. The solution is easier than they think. READ  

National
King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament
King Carl XVI Gustaf arriving on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament

BREAKING: Sweden's post-election parliament is meeting for the first time following a fanfare opening from King Carl XVI Gustaf. READ  

Opinion
Should Sweden's school age be raised?
A high school in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Should Sweden's school age be raised?

After the new coalition announced plans to extend Sweden's compulsory schooling until the age of 18, The Local asked two Swedes at high school if they agreed with the idea. READ  

Brand stories
JohannaN: beautiful jewellery with a story

JohannaN: beautiful jewellery with a story

Just 27 and already living off of her own designs, some may consider Johanna Nilsson lucky. But she doesn't believe in luck. She's the founder of a jewellery line blending sustainability, subtle style, and Scandinavian simplicity - and it's taking the world by storm. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Politics
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

852
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN