If you’re a Spotify (Premium) user and an iOS user, chances are you’ve already tried using Spotify on your device. The Spotify iPhone app is very decent, and it was recently joined by a rather spectacular iPad application.
The mobile Spotify scene is looking better by the day, but it’s still not on par with its computer counterpart. For starters, you can only use mobile and third-party Spotify apps if you also have a Spotify Premium account. There are also some features missing that may yet be in the pipeline.
The latter issue we can take into our own hands. In this case, the absence of Spotify Radio on your mobile. While this was a previously inferior feature, it’s become radically more desirable after Spotify out-sourced its music recommendation engine.
SpotON Radio is a free iPhone application, although you need a Spotify Premium account to be able to use it. The premise is simple; bring Spotify Radio to the iPhone. Because SpotON Radio relies on the same music recommendation engine as Spotify does, courtesy of The Echo Nest, you’ll get the same level of recommendations on your iPhone as you would on your computer.
In the application, you can create a radio Station by searching Spotify for a specific band, by browsing the top 100, or by selecting one of your most popular artists in Spotify, which are loaded into the application on first run.
Stations and Music Player
Once you’ve entered a station, SpotON Radio takes over. The music player, which you can see at work in the screenshot below, is very simple, very down-to-earth. In the true spirit of radio, the rewind button is omitted, although you can skip bad songs to your heart’s desire.
Using the buttons below the album art, you can thumb up and thumb down any of the radio station’s music recommendations. You obviously won’t be hunched over your iPhone whenever you’re listening to music, but by rating the exceptions you can help fine tune the station and (hopefully) get better picks the next time around.
If you will it so, the thumbs up button in the music player serves a dual purpose. By default, whenever you explicitly ‘like’ a song, it will be starred in your Spotify. If, on the other hand, you are more picky about the songs you star, you’ll have to disable ‘Auto-star likes’ in the SpotON Radio settings.
There’s another way in which SpotON Radio manages to integrate with Spotify, rather than just pulling music from its database. Again in the preferences, you can opt to have your SpotON Radio stations ported to Spotify playlists, in a separate SpotON Radio folder. This way, you can use the official Spotify apps on your iPhone or iPad to play through the playlists generated in SpotON Radio, or keep an unusually successful radio station at the ready in your desktop application.
Do you ever use Spotify on the go, or on your mobile devices? If you do, what apps do you favor? If you don’t, what’s keeping you?