On-demand music streaming company Spotify is readying an iPhone client for its service, and expects to release it in a matter of weeks.

The iPhone software should be available as a free download from Apple's iPhone App Store in a few weeks' time, but using it to stream music will require a Spotify Premium subscription, the company's communications manager Jim Butcher said Monday.

Users of Spotify's desktop client software for Windows or Mac OS X can choose between the Spotify Premium music-streaming service costing €9.99 (US$14) a month, or a free service supported by advertising. Paid subscribers can access higher quality music streams, download music while travelling outside their home country, and hear new albums before they are available to users of the free service.

Spotify's service streams music at around 160K bps (kilobits per second) using the Ogg Vorbis q5 codec, and is available in Finland, France, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

On the iPhone, it will compete with Apple's own iTunes Store, where users are charged to download tunes but pay no ongoing subscription fees. The iTunes Store contains around 10 million tracks encoded at 256K bps in AAC format, most unencumbered by DRM (digital rights management) restrictions, at prices ranging from $0.69 to $1.29.

read more (via PCWorld)