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Yesterday, Spotify announced a new apps platform, featuring apps from Last.fm, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and more.
Whether this apps platform provides ways for developers to monetise their apps is up for debate, but I want to look at the apps released so far, and whether they enhance the experience for Spotify users.
There are currently 11 apps available on Spotify, providing playlists, recommended songs / artists, and related content.
I've been trying them out...
An obvious hook-up this, but very welcome.
Spotify has been great for the sheer volume of music it provides for subscribers, but not for discovering music, and discovery is what Last.fm does so well.
You get the usual Last.fm features, such as info on the artist playing, recommended albums, similar artists playlists, and so on. It is missing the ability to add all 'loved' tracks as a playlist though.
The Rolling Stone app offers the best new album reviews and recommended songs, as well as some excellent playlists from its editorial team, and guest playlists such as this from Thurston Moore.
In contrast to Rolling Stone, The Guardian's Spotify app is a little unimaginative. It's just a list of the last 15 or so album reviews, and a link to the newspaper's homepage.
With some excellent music related content, such as the recent writers' favourite albums, and readers' suggested playlists, The Guardian could have done better here.
This is similar to the Rolling Stone app, a mixture of reviews and playlists.
This is presumably a way of sharing music/playlists with friends, which is already possible on Spotify.
It requires me to log in via Facebook, and doesn't really explain how I will benefit, so I can't be bothered.
We are hunted
This is another music discovery app, with recommended songs from emerging artists, as well as more popular charts.
It also features this similar artists playlist feature:
This is a nice app, which simply shows the lyrics for the song you're currently listening to.
Sadly, it was unable to decipher The Fall, and, for publishing rights reasons, Bob Dylan, but it can manage some classic Barney Sumner lyrics:
Songkick provides listings for concerts by artists that appear in your Spotify playlists. This is useful, but the need to log via Facebook, or your Songkick may deter some users.
If I don't have a Songkick account, there is no way to register via the app, and it doesn't even send me to the main site to sign up.
With a simple registration form, Songkick would have the opportunity to attract a few more users to what is a very good service.
This presents the latest charts in playlist form. Does what is says on the tin.
An interesting idea, Moodagent creates a playlist according to the mood you're in. So, if I select happy, I get Lou Bega and the Lambada. I'm unlikely to use this one again.
This app shows playlists based on current music news items. Not a bad idea.
As a regular user of Spotify, I think the addition of apps is an excellent move, and some of these, such as Last.fm, TuneWiki, and Pitchfork, do improve the experience.
It would be good to see integration of these apps with Spotify's mobile service, as well as an iPad app, but this is a positive move.