You have iTunes. You’ve used Pandora. You like HypeMachine. What’s this Spotify shit? Well, let me spin you a tale of music streaming family lineage. Imagine Spotify is a child. Spotify’s Dad is iTunes, Mom is Pandora, and hipster sister is Hypemachine. Each family member has invariably learned from one another. Spotify is the fortunate son. And an independent one at that. With Spotify, the apple has fallen far enough from the tree to be its own, and close enough to reap the benefits of its kin. How so? Let’s break it down.

On-Demand Streaming

Stop searching YouTube for single tracks. Spotify went lengths to get clearance from major record labels worldwide. Individual tracks, albums, EP’s, you name it. Its index is comparable in size to that of iTunes, you can listen to whatever, whenever — free; all without sacrificing disk space on your machine or mobile device.

Looks Like iTunes

But black! Spotify bares a similar interface to that of its estranged father. Left side: playlists, inbox, and options; middle: selectable tracks, albums, artists, etc.; right: friends lists. Navigating Spotify will be second nature. Plus, there’s an inbox. Send and receive tracks and playlists. Nice.

It’s Legal

Unlike its hot barely legal co-ed sister Hypemachine, and its felon brother Bit-torrent, Spotify won’t pull tracks, or make you prison bitch for hearing out that Bieber single. Frankly, it’s so legal, that I almost hesitate on recommending it.

A.D.D. Listener Enabled

Pandora tells you to finish your song before you leave the table. Spotify allows you — oh, song-skipping user — to skip around till your heart’s content. Let the 3/4 played songs roll, no one wants to hear that last verse.

Sociability

Remember when Dad tried to be social? Called it, ‘Ping’, and all of, say, no one used it? With the exception of Steve Jobs ball-fondlers? Good, forget that. Then cue Spotify playlists; which are digitally analogous to mixtapes. Make one, share it, enjoy. Don’t want to make one? Download other’s mixes via ShareMyPlaylists.com. I made one, just for you. It’s good, promise.

After-thoughts:

Now this was just a light briefing on Spotify. There’s plenty more details to be had if you choose to enroll. Is it perfect child though? Nearly. Want a free account? Plan on soliciting friends or strangers online. Want it now? Choose a paid plan and get it today. Otherwise, here are a few details on any potentially unruly behavior.

— It costs $4.99 for unlimited ad-less streaming. Every 6 songs or so, you’ll hear an ad. These ads are for artists / bands though, and not Chlorox bleach wipes like Pandora liked to recommend. Surprisingly, they’ve found me a handful of good artists. You’ll see.

— Mobile use (iPhone, Android, etc.) will cost you $9.99 per month.

— There are rumors abound that Spotify, after 6 months, will force you to pay for an account. However, $4.99 a month for unlimited listening, verses $9.99 an album on iTunes, needn’t an argument.

— What about the other less-popular streaming services? See Mashable’s subscription music faceoff infographic to see how they match up.

* Request a free account invite today at:  https://www.spotify.com/us/hello-america/