"Lucky they have offline playlists then..."
amen to that.
Here in the Middle East internet connections are generally a) a lot slower than in the UK/Europe/USA. b) somewhat unreliable and c) damned expensive think the equivalent of 50 GBP a month for a theoretical 2MB d/l which realistically is proably about an actual 500/600 KB download particularly in the evening when I'm likely to use it most.
So Spotify off-line mode is a godsend. I'm at work currently listening to Norah Jones on my Touch with my new Bose QC15's and I have to say I find it hard if not impossible to distinguish between the 320 Ogg Vobis Spotify track and same track ripped losslessy (ALAC). Over and above that apart from a minor CD buying spree whenever I travel home to the UK or in Europe I don't (here in Saudi Arabia) have the option to buy much in the way of music other than via the internet. As I'm not interested in 128 mp3 downloads from the likes of iTunes or Napster and there isn't that great a range (currently) on the sites offering higher bitrate files Spotify off line mode works just fine.
Given that most people probably couldn't distinguish between a good 320 rip (let alone lossless) under most circumstances one has to wonder about the long term future of the CD format anyway. Will it not in the very near future join vinyl in the segment of the market marked "audiophiles and assorted "golden eared" anal obsessives" Just a thought.
I've done the whole audiophool bit through various Thorens, Rega and yes even the fabled Sondek turntables. I've had Linn, Nain (the original Nait) Nytech, Aura hairshirt design amps to a man. More speakers than I care to remember, spent hours setting my VTA and cleaning my records, I've banished all other transducers from my "listening room" on the advice of the HiFi sages of the time (who now it turns out where taking the **** anyway) aghhhhh it was just too much of a faff.
Now I find myself listening to and enjoying more music across a wider spectrum of musical genre than ever before because it's all just so accessible and set to become more so because effectively the content providers drive the internet.
Enjoy the music or enjoy fiddling with your equipment, find a happy medium, whatever blows your hair back but don't take it too seriously.