App Review: Spotify

Spotify for desktop is a revelation in music, I'm sure you've heard about it, but if not check it out on the official website. Basically it gives you free streaming tracks from their entire music library, which at the time of this post stands at over 8 million tracks and counting. The free streaming is supplemented by ads, but the premium subscription has no ads, as well as a significantly higher streaming bitrate.

Ok so on with the review. Lets get the cost out of the way first. The actual android app is free to download from the market, however to sign into this app and use it you must be a premium subscriber. Premium subscriptions are £9.99 a month, and you are able to cancel any recurring payments if you want to try the service for the month. I'd like to note here that they also offer a 12-month subscription, but strangely do not offer any discount on the monthly price for taking out the longer plan.

Once you have the subscription, along with the ability to use the mobile app, you also get some desktop benefits as mentioned previously including offline playing of your playlists, no advertisements and a higher quality of stream (320kbs). For a full list of the premium desktop benefits be sure to check the spotify t&c's.

Ok onto the android app. The app is approx. 1.44mb in size, a fairly average sized app when compared to equivalent apps on the market. The market listing shows a number of features the app includes:

- Playing and synchronizing local files
- scrobbling
- Inbox
- Feed
- Top tracks
- Starred tracks
- Library
- Filter for tracks in playlists

So lets expand on a few of these:

Playing and synchronizing local files
Spotify mobile allows you to store playlists offline, meaning that the tracks will be stored (in an encrypted manner) on your phone for you to listen to whilst not connected to the internet, this is great news as it means you can listen to your music when not in a suitable 3G area, when abroad or simply when you don't want to use you data allowance streaming music. You are able to store up to 3,333 tracks at any one time on your phone provided you have the space on your sdcard.

The latest version of the Desktop spotify allows you to link up with friends also using spotify via facebook. You are able to drag and drop tracks to share with your friends. Items you share will become available in your friends inbox and vice versa, and the mobile app fully supports this feature really making spotify an extremely sociable tool, especially if a lot of your facebook friends are using the app too. Its worthy to note here that users of the free desktop app also get this feature on their desktop applications, so not limiting the number of friends to only those with the paid app.

This lets you see what your friends have been listening to recently, and clicking on the feed items lets you play that particular track. The app fully syncs with the desktop application, including all your playlists and starred tracks, with chances to either application being seen within seconds on each installation.

As mentioned before, the android app looks very good, the UI is extremely sophisticated and you can tell from the look that this is a premium app. Lets take a look at the Home page, the first page you when upon opening the app. Here you can see 3 tabs showing a number of different items. You have the recently added albums to spotify first, the top played tracks followed by your personal feed.