Spotify , the popular streaming music service received approval Friday to join the 65,000+ apps ... Smartphone News forum
Spotify Approved For App Store
Spotify, the popular streaming music service received approval Friday to join the 65,000+ apps on Apple's App Store. The site, paidContent UK received an official announcement from Apple's spokesperson saying, "The current status as of right now is it’s been approved and we hope to add the app to the more than 65,000 apps on the app store very soon. We’ve been in constant communication working with the developer and have already notified Spotify that the app will be in the app store very soon.” This came as a rather large surprise considering many have said that the service could be a serious rival for Apple's own iTunes.
For those unfamiliar with the service, they offer both a free (ad supported) and premium membership to it's library of digital music on your mobile device or desktop. Now there are a ton of streaming music sites and apps out there, but what sets Spotify apart is the offline listening ability. Yep, you can actually cache your music onto the device for listening when no data signal is available. The company says they believe strongly in music being a social product and allow users to share their favorite albums or tracks with friends, by sending them links to the content through the Spotify client. They also feature an online music store where you can purchase tracks to listen on any device and that's where this surprising move from Apple comes into play. Free streaming music, cached content, and an online music store make for a competitive product.
The service is currently offered for £9.99 with a annual subscription to be offered soon. Now that I've got everyone's attention on this service, here's the clencher. It's only available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. However, the company says they plan to invade the U.S. in the near future, but that will mean a whole other round of approvals from Apple.
Check out the full article and statement from Apple here.
Check out the Spotify service here.
A good follow up article on Spotify:
Hands-On With Spotify for iPhone: Is iTunes Dead?
from Wired: GadgetLab
Spotify, the on-demand music streaming software and service, has come to the iPhone. A slick implementation and instant access to any of four million songs, whenever you want, could spell the death of the iPod as we know it. Or could it? From the start, Spotify is crippled by both Apple’s application rules, and some rather rushed-looking programming.
Spotify is available for both Android and iPhone platforms, and is soon coming to the S60 operating system. It is free, although you’ll need to be both a paying customer and to live in a qualifying country to use it. Right now, this doesn’t include the US — you’ll have to be in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Britain, France or Spain. And while users of the desktop Spotify can stream free if they listen to ads, the mobile versions require a €10-per-month premium account.
Switch on and you get the sign-in page. Like an exclusive nightclub, if your name isn’t down, you’re not getting in. Once logged in you see any playlists you have on the desktop. Any changes made to these on either iPhone or computer is instantly mirrored to the other device, and unlike syncing between desktop clients, it actually works.
From there, you can either just listen, or search, just like in desktop Spotify. Anything you find can be added to playlists and you can re-order these lists, delete them or create new ones.
But the headline feature, and the one which made us think that the application would never get past Apple’s store-guarding junkyard-dogs, is the offline mode. Hit the “Offline Playlists” button and you can simply touch any playlist you would like to have cached to your iPhone. The songs then download and can be listened to without any connection to the internet. And if you are bandwidth-challenged, say on an expensive data plan, you can “force” offline mode in the preferences, which will then pay music from the cache even if you have a network connection.
The application is as responsive as the desktop version, and music starts almost instantaneously, with artwork appearing just as fast. I’m using an iPod Touch to test over Wi-Fi, but reports say that similar speeds can be had over 3G. The sound is fine, and on a level with the free desktop version. Music is streamed using the Ogg Vorbis codec at 160kbps (the premium desktop version runs at 320kbps), and you can store up to 3,333 tracks for offline play. To put that in perspective, my iTunes library currently has 2885 items and will run for 8.5 days. In short, you won’t run out of music.
There are problems, though, that will stop this from replacing the iPod application as your full-time player.
First, it cannot run in the background, meaning you can’t hop over to check your mail while listening. This is enforced by Apple for all apps and will remain a problem on the iPhone, although Android and S60 version should run just fine as background processes. Neither can you access podcasts or audiobooks, a problem for many.
But the most annoying problems are those caused by the Spotify programmers. Many have been attributed to Apple’s restrictions on accessing the “metal” of the iPhone hardware, but as these problems also occur on the Android version and are in fact not restricted by Apple, we have to think that they are either omissions of v1.0, or that Spotify’s programmers just don’t care.
First is the volume control. It’s that bar at the bottom of the screen, right, just like the iPod? Wrong. That is the progress bar. To get to the volume you have to go to the info panel or use the hardware keys.
Play and pause are also married to the app: try to use the in-line remote in your earbuds and the iPod will play instead.
But it’s when you put the iPhone into a dock that the problems really show. Apple provides access to the remote for third-party apps: Last.FM can skip tracks, for example, using the IR remote. Not only does Spotify not recognize these commands, it lets them straight through to the iPod, causing great confusion.
In all though, this is a great start, and hopefully v1.1 will bring fixes to the niggles. If you are already paying €10 a month for Spotify premium, download this now. If you aren’t, you should probably sign up
Thanks for the update Steve. I hadn't noticed this article and I like seeing a first-hand look at the service's mobile debut.