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Spotify: Hey Apple, we've got apps, too

Consumer Reports News: November 30, 2011 03:53 PM

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Streaming-music service Spotify announced at a press event in New York City today that it is expanding its social-media outreach with the launch of its own apps market: This will bring new services—including editorial content from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, lyrics from TuneWiki, social music discovery and sharing from Last.fm, and localized concert listings based on the music you like from Songkick—into the Spotify fold.

By opening up its platform to developers, Spotify is hoping to expand its offerings beyond simply streaming music. Like Apple, Spotify will approve the apps that are offered in its apps store, called the Apps Finder. The apps will run in the Spotify desktop application.

Some of the new apps are now available as part of a preview. There have also been some changes to the Spotify dashboard, such as a new Facebook-style feed on the right-hand sidebar that lets you see and hear what your friends (including a "best friends" subset) are listening to. Spotify expects to add other content partners and services—including concert ticketing—in the future, as the apps market expands.

Apparently, the new apps will be available to all Spotify users, regardless of whether they get the free ad-supported version of the service or one of the paid premium services that add features, such as offline listening and support for mobile devices, such as cell phones.

If you'd like to get a glimpse of the new Spotify apps, you can check out a video on Spotify's website. We had a chance to check out a few of the apps after the press event.

One of the benefits to the editorial apps, such as the one from Rolling Stone, is that you'll be able to get curated playlists, both from the magazine's editorial staff and from musicians. Both Pitchfork and Rolling Stone will offer music reviews, of course, and we assume they'll be able to provide links to the music they're discussing.

A Billboard app turns its Top 100 list into a playlist, while an app from Songkick looks at your playlists and makes local-concert recommendations. One fun app, Moodagent, can construct playlists that match your mood.

Many of the apps were obviously very early in their development, so we're looking forward to seeing more fully realized versions of them in the near future, as well as new apps that add unique features or services.

James K. Willcox

   

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