Simfy-ly great!

Posted: September 1, 2012 in Uncategorized
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One thing that’s perennially frustrating as a technophile living in South Africa is knowing the wealth of technology and entertainment options that users enjoy overseas and that we simply don’t have access to. As a technophile and music lover, one of those options that I missed the most was a streaming music service like Spotify. Well, I miss it no more: Simfy has come to my rescue!
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What is Simfy (or Spotify for that matter), I hear you ask? Even if you don’t ask, I’ll tell you. It is a music streaming service that gives you access to their entire music catalogue, about 18 million tracks, for a flat fee of R60 per month. You can look up any artist or album you like and listen to it, as often as you like, as long as it’s in the catalogue. Think of it as renting all the music in your local Musica – actually, more like all the Musica stores in the country – for that R60 per month. The only requirement is Internet access, because the music is digitally available so has to be streamed or downloaded. Personally, I love the idea of thinking of a new album or artist – or even some golden oldies – and then being able to listen to that without having to go out and buy the album.

What is Simfy like in particular? It’s available on your PC, Android and iOS devices; I’ve tried all three formats and I’ve been pretty impressed. The catalogue is extensive and apparently growing all the time and I’ve been able to find all the music I’ve looked for. Admittedly my taste is fairly mainstream, so your mileage may vary, but I have been pleasantly surprised to find all the Christian contemporary music that I’ve looked for. You can search by album, artist and track and build your own playlists as well.

As mentioned, you do need Internet access to get to the music but it can at least be downloaded onto your device for offline listening as well. The music is encoded as a 192kb MP3, which is acceptable if not great quality, and works out at a download rate of about 85mb per hour. That’s still a potential downside for bandwidth limited SA, but any kind of uncapped account (which are actually pretty affordable these days) will be just fine.

For those looking askance at the thought of paying for the service, let me emphasise that it’s the only truly legal service of its kind in the country at the moment (yes, using other routes should bother you!). And, honestly, it’s half the price of one CD per month. I think that’s quite a bargain. But don’t just take my word for it: there’s a two week trial available for the service, so hop on over to simfy and give it a whirl. I think you’re going to like it.

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