Those willing to jump through the hoops will find a big reward in Spotify.com. The music-on-demand website is a treasure waiting to be discovered. It began in 2008 in Sweden (that country’s first big thing on the Internet), and it quickly became Europe’s favorite jukebox.

Those willing to jump through the hoops will find a big reward in Spotify.com. The music-on-demand website is a treasure waiting to be discovered.

It began in 2008 in Sweden (that country’s first big thing on the Internet), and it quickly became Europe’s favorite jukebox.

The Swedes are not exactly aggressive, so for three years, they ignored that big fat market for music in the U.S.

Oddly, you don’t simply set a password and log on. You must have an invitation. Go to the site and request it. But be prepared to wait. Mine took six days for approval. I was beginning to wonder if my name sounded too, uh, German.

With the invite comes your personal link to Spotify, but you don’t just log on. You must download the site’s front-end program, a player-organizer. It really is genius and fast. Most of the site’s software resides in your system. Kind of like the golden days of AOL.

And now for the rewards. Every other music site has a radio business model. That’s to appease the artists who want cash every time their music is played.

Radio means some program manager or computer, somewhere on the music chain, is deciding what he thinks you should hear. You can select a genre or an artist, but you’ll sit through a lot of others.

Spotify allows you to build playlists of specific songs and no garbage. Search on “Arlo Gutherie” and you get everything he’s recorded. Select the ones you want, build a playlist and play away.

Of course, like every other site, there’s a social-interaction play here. You can share your playlists on the friend sites or directly on Spotify.

Note: The only thing you’re saving is the list. You are not downloading songs for free, which would cause artists to froth. Playlists are links to songs legally held elsewhere.

Unlike other sites, Spotify’s advertising is not terribly intrusive. Mostly, it consists of ads for playlists. The site makes money by selling premium services that are ad-free and offer higher streaming quality. Otherwise, you pay nothing.

I love it. You can build playlists that mimic specific albums. You can mix and match. I was in the mood for Latin but not the commercial stuff. I found steel-drum bands, Cuban dance bands, Jamaican rap and on and on –– a whole afternoon of island listening.

I was determining what I heard, not some radio station or site. That’s called freedom, and that’s what the Internet should be about.