The new Spotify has arrived, with version 0.8.0.952 and higher, adding apps to the music streaming mix. A beta version containing the majority of the apps ready for launch was made available, which gave me ample opportunity to put all them all through their paces in advance.
The following five Spotify apps are the ones which I strongly urge all Spotify users to install immediately because they’re highly addictive. If you dislike one or find you don’t use it all that much then removing it from the sidebar is as simple as selecting ‘Remove from sidebar‘ when you right-click on the app in question. But I don’t think you’ll need to use that option with these five ingenious Spotify apps.
Last.fm is a service you’ve probably heard of already. It’s a social network for music lovers that has inconceivably been around since 2002. Rather than falling out of use or usefulness as the Web has moved on, Last.fm has benefited from the recent explosion in music streaming services.
To squeeze the most of the Last.fm Spotify app users will need a free Last.fm account. Once set up, every track you play will be logged (or scrobbled). You can then get recommendations based on the artists and genres you like, and connect with people who share similar tastes in music.
Addictive Quality: Building up a list of the tracks you’ve listened to and then seeing how that influences recommendations.
Soundrop is a social jukebox, a little like Turntable.fm, but without the competitiveness and chances of being humiliated. There is no voting down skipping of tracks, just the chance to build a collaborative playlist of songs which will be played in order of the number of up-votes.
There are default rooms organized by genre, or you can start your own room based on one of your own playlists. The URL of your Soundrop can then be shared with friends via social networking sites in order to start your own virtual party.
Addictive Quality: Everyone wants to be a DJ, as Soulwax once sang. Soundrop offers the chance for us all to achieve that dream.
ShareMyPlaylists is a website that does exactly what its name suggests. It gives users the opportunity to share their Spotify playlists with others, and also lets them listen to other people’s playlists. You can sign up for an account using Facebook or Twitter, but this isn’t a necessity to use the Spotify app.
The app shows your curated playlists handpicked by the site and the Top 50 playlists as determined by the number of times they have each been played. You can listen or subscribe to a playlist from right within the app itself. You can also generate a playlist based on the name of an artist or (if signed in) submit your own playlist.
Addictive Quality: Building playlists for others to judge. Discovering playlists and, consequently, new music.
Rolling Stone magazine is an extremely well-known source for music news, reviews, and opinion. That trustworthiness and focus on quality has extended beyond the print and Web versions and through to the Spotify app.
There are playlists from the magazine’s editors and established artists. Mick Jagger’s Top Reggae Songs is a current example. The latest albums and songs, complete with reviews, are also listed. All of the above can be played directly in Spotify with a single click.
Addictive Quality: Music discovery, pure and simply. The Rolling Stone app will likely set you off on a voyage of new music discovery.
[NO LONGER WORKS] We Are Hunted prides itself on pushing new and established artists, ranking them by how much buzz they’re builiding online across P2P networks, social networks, and blogs. The app is a sensible extension to this mission statement.
Artists are listed under ‘Emerging Chart’, ‘Mainstream Chart’, and genre-specific charts such as ‘Pop’ and ‘Folk’. A clever ‘Instant Playlist’ option which builds a set of tracks from a particular artist of your choosing adds to the innate usability of the We Are Hunted Spotify app.
Addictive Quality: Even more so than Rolling Stone, the We Are Hunted app will introduce you to new music and help shape your musical tastes.
Spotify was a fantastic music streaming service prior to the inclusion of apps. Now it’s absolute genius – and very addictive. Unfortunately, free users will find the monthly listening limits and lifetime track limits….limiting. At least after the grace period ends. The apps are another reason to subscribe, but that’s between you and your bank balance.
Are you a Spotify user? Have the new apps increased your usage/enjoyment of the service? What kind of apps would prompt you to switch from being a free user to a paid user?