Can't stop the signal - could Spotify be an iPhone killer?

28 May 2009

If you're a fan of Spotify, you'll already know it's the single greatest interweb invention in the world. Ever. You'll also be curious as to whether Roberta looks as hot damned sexy as she sounds (clue - she is, hot diggedy!).

For the uninitiated, Spotify is an online music jukebox that'll play just about any song you can think of (almost - some publishers haven't released their full archives yet). Once you've downloaded the app to your desktop, you can create your own playlists, share them online and create collaborative playlists that other people can add tracks to. It's the new but a whole lot sexier, and a whole lot simpler.

But Spotify could also pose a real threat to both Apple's iTunes and the iPhone, and provide the Google G1 handset with its first killer app. The Spotify team have unveiled a working version of a mobile app for the G1, and it's a corker.

It works like the desktop version - you can search through thousands of sings and create playlists of your favourite music. The very clever part is that it can store your playlists offline, so you don't need an internet connection to listen. That means you can listen to any song, at any time, as often as you like. The app is also capable of syncing near-simultaneously with the desktop version, without the need to plug in a USB cable:

It's exciting stuff, especially for Google which doesn't yet have a iTunes rival for the G1. There's no word on pricing or a launch date yet; if Google and T-Mobile were smart they'd roll it into the monthly contract fee for all users, rather than demand an additional charge, because then they could market the G1 as having a comprehensive music-on-demand service that's free. Yowsers.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Technology


  • Robin
    What does it cost to use spotify? Just on my PC I mean...
  • ronnie
    it's free. you can register if you want and then you wont get an advert after every tenth song you play but it's about £10 a month to do that. i've used it for a few months now without registering and its brilliant!
  • DGK
    It won't kill iTunes just yet, not enough content. I can search for 90% of the music I listen to and it comes back with no results... seems to know exactly who/what I'm searching for, but with nothing to actually play. As for the iPhone, I can't see it killing the iPhone when they've already been working on an iPhone client looong before making one for android (Whether apple allow it on the AppStore is another matter). I'm sure it's also worth noting, using the mobile versions will require a premium account, which is something a lot of people aren't willing to pay for, everyone I know uses the free version, though I completely agree with the notion to include the service by providers, as many, if not all, mobile providers prohibit the streaming of data over their mobile networks, they don't always enforce this part of your contractual agreement, however excessive use could change that, and there's no doubt that having the brilliance of Spotify at your fingertips any time of day would indeed incur "excessive" use. On a side note, it's interesting to see the "sync" feature appear on android, which is an open platform and totally open to hackery, surely they can foresee that offline content on such a device will no doubt result in a slew of piracy?
  • Sam
    DGK I do find that surprising, there are only a few exceptions I have noticed and I have a very niche taste in music(metal, metalcore, deathcore)
  • Matt B.
    Looks great, but i'm not ready to dump my 160gb iPod just yet.
  • DGK
    Sam: I listen to a lot of Dutch and UK hard dance (Hardcore, gabber, freeform, whatever you want to call it). There are one or two albums, and quite a bit of oooooold stuff, but nothing new that I'd actually want to put on and leave on. :/ I still use it frequently though, as I try not to limit myself to my preferred music, and given none of my main tastes are on there, I'm finding new stuff to listen to every day :)
  • antony w.
    We are going even further down the slippery slope of worse and worse audio quality. The industry needs to realise that the CD is dead, and it needs a newer and better way to distribute high quality music. Spottify is NOT the way. HD downoads on iTunes would be interesting.

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