Spotify has unveiled another feature that makes listening to and discovering new music easier and more fun. They are apps located in the Spotify interface. Currently, they are available on the desktop version of Spotify only. These apps offer a glimpse of what is possible with the future of Spotify. Soon, third parties will be coming out with their own versions of how to discover great music. Sounds like a good place for a Playlist Professional app, eh? Below is a promo video for these new apps with a description of our faves below. Updated 05/14/12
Spotify radio works the same way as Pandora radio, but the advantages are you can add songs into your own personal playlists as they play to enjoy later. Also, UNLIMITED SKIPS of undesirable tunes! Just like Pandora, Spotify is great to put on and let roll for simple, enjoyable music. Unfortunately, Spotify radio is quite predictable in the music it chooses (just like Pandora). If you are a casual music listener, this will work well for you. A new feature lets you right click on any Spotify playlist and create a “playlist radio”. This is a great feature as it takes songs that are in your playlist and mixes them with similar songs. This worked well in practice for us, and is a nice discovery tool as you can skip around and as you like. Are you still listening to regular FM radio? If you are even a small music fan, it’s time to turn it off!
The nifty Soundrop app seems to be Spotify’s answer to turntable.fm and Facebook’s “Listen with friends”. You create or join a pre-made room and chat with other users as the songs play. You can see the upcoming playlist and vote songs up according to your preference. Unlike Turntable.fm, specific DJs are not in control. The entire room has input on what is played. Soundrop is great because of how speedy and clean it is. Its not so great if you are looking for a true DJ experience and want to play your song of choice for a big room. If you choose a song it starts out at 0 votes and who knows when or if it will get voted up. Occasionally, the song that plays is different than the one that is showing due to the licensing deals of certain countries. There are numerous rooms to join of varying genres and moods. Creating your own room with your friends is recommended because you have better control over what gets played. You have the entire Spotify library as your arsenal!
The Pitchforkapp offers up your choice of playlists based on their highest rated albums, any record they’ve reviewed, or greatest tracks of different years and eras. There is lots to discover here. You can read a short review of a new highly reviewed album and listen to it instantly. The problem is that you can’t drag and drop more than one album at a time into one big playlist. Not a problem if you like to listen to albums all at once, but if you care to sample tracks from different albums, you can’t do that easily.
Rolling Stone‘s app – Similar to Pitchfork, you can listen to RS’s albums of 3 stars or higher, which if you have followed RS over the last 5 years, is nearly every album in the magazine. When did RS become so pop focused? Get your Rhianna, Drake, and Foo Fighers fix here. There are also some great playlists from musicians such as Keith Richards, Miranda Lambert, and others. Look for the auto updating playlist (the best kind) of RS editor picks.
TuneWiki has one of the more endearing and useful apps we’ve seen. Simply play your music as usual, click on the TuneWiki, and a window opens in Spotify with the lyrics scrolling along as the song plays. Ever wonder what the lyrics were to a song? Here you go! Karaoke enthusiasts take note.
Billboard‘s app has your choice of 5 playlists: Hot 100 Singles, Top 200 albums (only one track per album), R&B songs, Rock songs, and Country songs. The playlists update every week which is very nice. Pop radio lovers should definitely subscribe to their playlists of choice here. Newsworthy this week is that the industry standard Billboard Hot 100 is now factoring in digital streaming into its popularity charts. This is great for digital music to be recognized by Billboard, and great for music in general because now there will be more influence in the charts other than the garbage Clear Channel is manufacturing.
Share My Playlists has an app full of playlists created by music fans everywhere. Also included are playlists by magazines, websites, and any other entity you can think of. There is plenty to enjoy and we will often promote playlists we make at Sharemyplaylists. However, there is so much content, that it can get in your way. Mixed in with the good are plenty of sub-par and annoying playlists that are either thrown together, incoherent, mislabled, or just plain bad. This makes it difficult to easily find a great playlist when searching. If you stick to the featured playlists, you will save time, and are better served in terms of quality mixes.
Tastebuds is a dating service for music lovers. It matches people by musical tastes. Great idea! We discovered Tastebuds 2 years ago when they were beginning, and it was a great idea then, too. I quickly signed up to see who had the same tastes as me. At the time there were so few users, that only a handful of results displayed and they were hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Now with their Spotify app, it becomes very easy for people to discover and join Tastebuds. The same search as 2 years ago brings up many more people now, and in a closer vicinity. However, there are still only a handful of users located around a giant city like New Orleans LA. Tastebuds is a British company, and though they have worldwide aspirations, not enough Americans are using it. Messaging other users is free, and you can easily show off your personality by sending a youtube video to another user. The matches I received were right up my alley, so to speak, except those allies were still located too far away in most cases for any dating to occur. Matches displayed are based on the artists you like, and you have to fill those in yourself. It is not clear if it will use your Spotify listening habits to find users in the future. We definitely recommend giving the Tastbuds app a whirl. More users are bound to join, its attractively laid out, the users that are showing are far more interesting to me than any other dating service I’ve tried, and you can talk to them free.