I’ve spent the last couple of days playing around with the new version of Spotify, and have finally decided to shell out for premium on a trial basis. I must say – I’m impressed so far!
The feature that finally sold it for me is the inclusion of your existing music library within Spotify. As someone with a fairly large music collection built up and organised over many years, it would have been a horrific task to transfer everything across from iTunes into Spotify, but thankfully the new version makes this extremely easy to do, albeit with a few issues with tracks being lost in the process. I’ve noticed that as soon as tracks are imported into Spotify, it queries Gracenote CDDB to try and find the best information possible, however this does not play very nicely when iTunes is trying to organise your music for you, since I’m a fan of having my music sorted into folders automatically!
As an iPhone owner, I obviously want to take some music with me on the go, and my main gripe with having Spotify as a primary music store is the lack of ability to easily sync across to my phone. Although Spotify released this a while ago, I never really had chance to play with their iPhone app, but again – I’m impressed! The wireless sync is brilliant for me, as I hate iTunes tying up my phone for ages at a time to update my library (I download quite a lot of music, which I inevitably want on my phone straight away, at least to start with). As soon as iPhone OS 4.0 drops this summer, and Spotify supports background playing – I’ll be resigning the iPod application to far far down in my pages of apps! However, having to remember to start the Spotify app when you get home could be a bit of an issue, I don’t know if iPhone 4.0 will support anything to allow Spotify to download in the background – but we shall see.
The other new feature of this latest Spotify update is the ability to link back to your Facebook account, giving a whole new depth of social networking with regards to music. I’m happy that Spotify didn’t try to create their own network, but decided to tie it in with what is probably the one website everyone uses! The ability to have friends suggest tracks and share playlists right from within the Spotify application is a brilliant (but rather open to abuse – how many people have you rickrolled already?!!) feature. I’m amazed someone else (Apple?) didn’t come to the market with this feature first!
One major feature I think is missing is the lack of support for podcast downloading within Spotify. I know it’s not really what they set out to do, but they’re clearly going after iTunes with all these new features, and quite a few people I know do like having podcasts downloaded automatically, and transferring to their phone/media device for playing on the move. I really hope this one comes along soon, as I’ll then have no need to carry on syncing my phone with iTunes on a regular basis, instead relying on Spotify syncing over the air whenever I’m at home and the app is running.
All in all, I’m very happy with my subscription – money well spent. However, I think I’ll probably wait until the iPhone update before renewing my subscription so that I can make full use of its features. Well done Spotify – you’ve earned yourself another happy customer!