|Home » Industry Watch (» The Technological) (» Hall of Monkeys) (» Heroes Banquet)
Spotify 0.4.3: Killer App
Time to dump iTunes?
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — The Spotify team are rolling out a huge update today. Users are already talking about uninstalling iTunes.
Spotify — The Next Generation
What a propitious choice of words. For that's exactly what Spotify 0.4.3 is - it's a huge leap and it must have the Big Four drooling at the bit. Ancillary revenue streams from royalties are now only a small piece of the cake. Demographics are going to take over and lure many a major player to the product.
'This morning we're really excited to announce a major evolution of Spotify. Today we begin rolling out Spotify version 0.4.3 which includes the largest feature upgrade since our launch in late 2008', writes Andres Sehr on the Spotify blog. The news was such a sensation that the Guardian couldn't even proofread their own scoop before publishing.
Twitter is going nuts with the new version. 'Spotify just announced that you can upload your entire music library (including iTunes) into Spotify. Bye bye iTunes', tweets Peter Brady of Orbital Media. 'Man that @spotify update is killer. Closing iTunes for now', tweets David Noël from Berlin. 'Man I wish this was available in the US', posts 'sockersyay' at the Spotify YouTube clip.
There are more features than the above. Social features:
- Connect to Facebook: you can connect to Facebook inside of Spotify, instantly adding all your Facebook friends who've selected the same feature. Your friends' profiles will appear in a new 'People' sidebar at the right of the screen, with your personal profile at the top.
- Add usernames: you can also add people by typing their Spotify username, should you know it, into the Spotify search field. For example searching 'spotify:user:username' will bring up their profile (if their profile is published).
- Publish your Spotify profile to the web: easily publish the link to your Spotify profile on your blog, Facebook page, website or anywhere else on the web and allow others to follow your musical journey. For example here's a link to the official Spotify profile.
- Inbox: a new 'inbox' folder on Spotify's left sidebar lets you send tracks to friends directly within the platform, simply by dragging and dropping a track to their name in the People sidebar. Alternatively, just right click on the track and select the new 'send to' option.
- Facebook feed: music your friends have posted on Facebook will be visible on the Spotify 'What's new' page and via a new 'Feed' tab.
- Popularity count for playlists: all playlists will show how many other Spotify users are currently subscribed to that playlist. By clicking on the number, you can even see the usernames of those who added the playlist.
- Track playlist changes: see who and when a track was added to a playlist with the new 'Added' and 'User' columns in playlists.
- Local files: missing any music in Spotify? Now you can import a link to all the music files stored on your computer with a simple click of a button.
- Gracenote: As with any good music media player, if you have missing or incorrect track information you need software to check those files and automatically correct them so that you can better organise and link them to our catalogue. Gracenote does just this.
- Local file linking: we will check your local files and see if we have that track/artist/album in Spotify. If we do, we'll make the file linkable so you can easily go from that file into an artist or album page. This allows for better sharing of playlists that contain a mix of your own music and Spotify's.
- Starred: every track and album on Spotify can now be 'starred' - allowing you to tag all your favourites into a special sub-folder.
- Wireless sync: you can copy your music files to your mobile without connecting a USB cable with our new wireless sync feature.
- Filter bar: the library has a permanent filter bar at the top so you can easily type in what you're searching for. In all other lists the filter bar is visible when pressing cmd-f (mac) or ctrl-f (windows).
- Mosaic images for playlists: the artwork from the first nine tracks in a playlist will create a cool mosaic image for your playlist.
- New toolbar in headers: Sharing music to Facebook/Twitter and your friends is much simpler. Easy to subscribe or unsubscribe to a playlist as well as view information about how popular a playlist is.
- A share icon in 'Now playing' artwork: makes sharing what you're currently listening to much easier.
- Automatic track replacement: Spotify will now automatically try to find a replacement for any track you can't play. So if a friend in another country sends you a playlist with tracks you can't play or a local file, we'll search our catalogue and link to a playable track when possible. A 'link' icon next to the track name represents replaced tracks.
Clipothèque is compatible as always. Download a free copy from VersionTracker.
Sharing is Caring
'We've been working long and hard on this for the past few months and we really hope you enjoy it', concludes Andres Sehr at the Spotify blog.
Indeed they have. Spotify 0.4.3 (officially version 0.4.3.353.gaae6aa11, revision 40300353) puts a lot of new technologies together on top of the already feature-rich Spotify cake.
The Spotify people remain a rare schoolbook example of how to do everything right - right from the management in a linear non-hierarchical organisation through the office staff and down to the technical level.
- Open standards all the way. Ogg Vorbis, μtorrent, the turbo-tweaked database engine: people have boggled at the speed of Spotify, saying it's faster than iTunes.
- The programming itself. Spotify's Cocoa programming and product packaging is way at the top. This is the way everyone should write software.
- Customer support. Spotify have an unparalleled rapport with their users through GetSatisfaction. They stay on top of user feedback, they don't censor it, they see it as a resource.
And now you can eclipse the iTunes desktop application, make it irrelevant. Still want to purchase tracks at iTunes? Do it in Spotify. Still want to play your local iTunes tracks? Do it in Spotify.
Want to connect to your friends on Facebook and Twitter? Do it in Spotify. And Spotify takes only 1/5 (20%) the disk space Apple's iTunes does.
'Sharing is caring', goes the new Spotify tagline - the same tagline used by Sweden's Pirate Party.
Spotify: The Next Generation