by Jennifer Ruggiero
It is always exciting to see two awesome services come together. I have been a longtime TiVo® customer and watched their service grow immensely since they launched back in 1997. TiVo® is a pioneer in home entertainment and created the first (and best, imo) DVR. Today, TiVo® is fresher than ever and offers users the ability to watch live or DVR’d television, as well as stream videos, movies, photos, podcasts, and music via a wide assortment of services, one of which is Spotify.
Spotify is a music service that has one of the world’s largest online music libraries. You can simply search for any song or artist and chances are what you are searching for will appear. Since its 2011 launch here in the states, it quickly became my favorite music service. Therefore, I was very happy to learn that TiVo® has partnered with Spotify to have its music service available on our TiVo® Premiere boxes. Many people have their televisions/TiVo® boxes connected to sound systems, so the offering of Spotify is a natural fit for TiVo® home entertainment.
The Spotify interface on TiVo® is user-friendly and clean. To use Spotify, you must first have your TiVo® Premiere Box connected to the internet. If you are connected to the internet (which most likely you are), hit the TiVo button on top center of your TiVo remote control, scroll down to Music & Photos (it may take a few moments to load initially), and select Spotify.
If you do not have a Spotify Premium Membership, you can sign up for free for 30 days. After your first 30 days, Spotify Premium will cost $9.99 a month with no obligation. This membership package provides you with unlimited, ad-free listening, and the ability to access Spotify on many of your devices (computer, tablet, phone, TiVo®, etc.) as well as download playlists to most of your devices so you can listen offline (helpful when driving in spotty coverage areas). There is no commitment, and you may cancel anytime.
After Spotify loads, you will see the “What’s New” screen. This displays albums/songs that have recently launched.
There is a “Playlists” screen that shows you all of your saved playlists, including your starred tracks list.
The next screen is “Search,” which is just that… search. It enables you to search for your favorite artist or song. The search is via an on-screen keyboard. I attempted to use the keyboard via the TiVo® app on my iPad, but it didn’t seem to work when trying to key in my search. However, the on-screen keyboard worked just fine.
If you want to star a song (starred lists in Spotify represent bookmarks or favorites), simply be on the track (will be highlighted) that you want to star, and hit the thumbs up button on your remote. To unstar, hit the thumbs down button. Hit the blue “B” button on your remote to view track options, which allow you to Star, Browse the Track Title, Browse the Artist, see Related Artists, and Help which provides app navigational tips/tricks.
You can pause what is playing by hitting “pause” on your TiVo® remote. By hitting the remote’s “fast forward” button, you can fast forward through the track. Let go of the button to start playing the track again. The same method applies for rewinding. To view in full-screen, hit the “zoom” on your remote. To quickly exit Spotify, hit the red “C” button on your TiVo® remote. When in doubt, just hit “info” on your remote and it will guide you.
The good and the room for improvement…
- Spotify on your TiVo® is very convenient.
- Excellent sound quality.
- All of your playlists are accessible.
- The ability to search for millions of songs easily and quickly.
- Simple and clean user-interface.
- Ability to cancel Spotify anytime.
- The $9.99 monthly subscription cost after 30 days free (30 days free for new subscribers).
- Lack of Spotify Radio.
- Lack of Spotify “apps” (on the desktop version of Spotify, there are an assortment of “apps” available that enhance the Spotify experience).
- Lack of Social (no ability to stream to Facebook or Last FM, nor can you share tunes/playlists with friends).
I am very pleased with having Spotify on my TiVo® Premiere Box. If you are a TiVo Premiere Box owner, I encourage you to try out Spotify. If you are not a TiVo Premiere Box owner, I suggest that you cut the cord (or satellite), get an HD antenna for your locals, and purchase a TiVo® Premiere Box for your home entertainment needs. You will certainly save money and thoroughly enjoy all TiVo® has to offer… including Spotify!