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Music can be browsed by artist, album, record label, genre or playlist as well as by direct searches. On desktop clients, a link allows the listener to purchase selected material via partner retailers.

Users can register either for free accounts supported by visual and radio-style advertising or for paid subscriptions without ads and with a range of extra features such as higher bitrate streams and offline access to music. A paid "Premium" subscription is required to use Spotify on mobile devices. Subscriptions are restricted to people with credit/debit cards or PayPal accounts registered in certain countries. A Facebook account has been mandatory for all new users since 22 September 2011.

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