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Radio Comes To Spotify iOS

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 21st, 2012
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Regular users of the Spotify app have just been given yet another reason why the service is the best music product out there. Radio functionality has just been added in the latest update.

It's a feature that's been available for PC/Mac users for quite a while and allows users to create stations based on their favorite artists, albums or playlists, with only a single tap saving the track for future reference.

For those who want faster access, the Radio tab makes it possible to view and listen to other stations. Give a favored song a thumb up and it all goes towards Spotify's personalization system which recommends ideal stations for the user. It should ensure that there's never a time where you'll be stumped for what to listen to next.

The service is currently available for free in the US while other countries will require a premium subscription to access the functionality.

Get the update now and enjoy!

Spotify's App gets a Social Update

Posted by Lisa Caplan on June 4th, 2012
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Spotify, one of the most popular on-demand social music services, updated their iOS app last week. There were a lot of fixes and a few tweaks, but the biggest news is that the app now uses push notifications.

Spotify is a great way to listen to almost any artist, song, or album you can think of, but one of the primary functions of the main desktop app is the social connectivity. You can follow friends from Facebook, subscribe to their playlists, and even send them music. Now the app is focusing its attention on this aspect by notifying users when a new friend joins, when a playlist you subscribe to has been altered or when someone signs up to listen to your mix.

Also added, a new user guide helps newcomers explore some of Spotify’s features as they translate to iOS, Retina display interface and album art, and better offline synching,

All these changes are welcome, but what’s still missing is Spotify’s genre and user-created radio stations, and their integrated third-party music discovery apps, things we hope to see in future updates.

NPR Updates Official Music App for the iPad

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on February 17th, 2012

Today is a good day for fans of music like the indigenous folk rock music of southern Papua, New Guinea as NPR has launched an updated version of their music app for the iPad. The newly launched NPR Music is a one-stop listening shop for iPad users, providing free access to basically everything NPR has to offer. Users have access to extensive music collections from a variety of genres, all organized by category for easy perusal. Furthermore, you can check out news, signature NPR programming, listen to live events or even stream entire stations all with a couple taps and swipes.

In a move that will really please audiophiles, NPR Music allows you to save playlists for later offline listening, a free service which normally locked away as a "premium" features in apps like Spotify. We do however assume that at some point the app will bombard you with endless pledge drives until you find some way to insert $20 into your iPad. But isn't that a small price to pay the first time you whip out your iPad, load up your NPR app and completely blow the minds of your hipster friends?

Spotify Quality Goes Extreme

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on February 16th, 2012
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Are you a true audiophile who wants your music at the highest definition possible? Do you also happen to be a Spotify user who loves listening on the go but feel like the quality could be better? If so then you'll be happy to know that the latest update to the Spotify app cranks it to 11, introducing a new "extreme" level of audio quality.

The new update allows users to stream songs at 320kbps. which doubles the high quality option (160kbps) and utterly destroys standard quality (96kbps). The only downside is that if you're planning to use the maximum available quality then you'd best either be connected to a Wifi network at all times or packing an unlimited data plan that isn't likely to get throttled. Still, power users with access to copious amounts of data will likely be thrilled at the prospect of never being without Spotify's 15 million tracks, now available in a higher quality than what even iTunes has to offer.

SpotON Radio Will Bring Pandora-Esque Music Discovery to Spotify Premium Users

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 5th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Rebel and Bird AB and Springworks AB have announced an upcoming application that will try to help Spotify users — or at least those with Spotify Premium — discover new music while on the go. Their app, SpotON Radio, will allow users to log in to their Spotify accounts and have custom radio stations built for them based on their Spotify data. According to Rebel and Bird's Peter Blom, “We’re all passionate music fans and love discovering new music which can often be a challenge. Even though you now have access to an endless library thanks to Spotify, it’s hard to seek out new songs and you often end up listening to the same playlists over and over again. We wanted to change that and that’s where the idea for SpotON Radio started."

It will work similarly to Pandora, where users enter in a starting point like their favorite artist, and then the app will find similar tracks based on that. This is all based on Spotify's API, using their library of music (accessible through the user's premium subscription which offers the access to the tracks) to supply the tracks for the service. SpotON Radio launches on January 9th as a free app with no ads at all, though the developers tease that it may not stay that way always. The app will be available from this link, so Spotify Premium users will want to keep an eye out for this.

Sonos Releases New, Smaller Play3, Still Awesome

Posted by Jeff Scott on July 20th, 2011

It's not everyday that we write about hardware on 148Apps. So when we do, you know it's about something awesome.

Today, Sonos, one our favorite iOS friendly audio hardware makers have released a new, smaller device, the Play3. It's the little brother to the fantastic S5, now called the Play5 that we reviewed last year. This smaller version has 3 speakers instead of the 5 found in the Play5. It still maintains the features of the Play5 in that it connects with your home network to stream music from iTunes and a huge variety of online services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, etc.

I had a chance to test out the new Play3 for a few minutes earlier this week. And I'm impressed. It does a great job, in a smaller package, of still sounding great. You can use this in addition to a Play5, on it's own, or create a stereo pair between two like devices. The Play5 is a great machine that I've grown to love. The Play3 will be a great first device for new Sonos users considering it's retail price of $299. It will also make a good second device to extend your Sonos range into another room.

We hope to be able to bring you a full review of the Play3 in the next couple weeks.

Spotify is Here! Celebrate With a Free Invitation

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 18th, 2011
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Spotify has landed in the US with a great deal of press coverage and speculation, but what is it, exactly?

Spotify is a streaming music service - more akin to Rdio or MOG than the randomly-generated playlists of Pandora - that has one killer feature its competitors don't. It's free. Yep, once an account is established (which is tricky at the moment - more on that in a bit), streaming is enabled for Macs and PCs through the iTunes-like Spotify desktop client. The catches are relatively minor. The free service is ad-supported, so expect to hear song snippets when you least expect them, or see an ad for Coke dominate your Spotify screen for a few seconds. Taken as a whole, however, it's a lot of content for the surprising cost of nothing.

For those wanting more, Spotify offers an Unlimited Plan for $4.95 which features unlimited streaming to PC/Mac with no ads or a Premiere Plan for $9.95 a month to stream all content to the iPhone and select other devices. If you're hurting for an invite to join the fun, you can jump to the head of the line by purchasing an Unlimited or Premiere plan...or...

You can win one of two invites to Spotify USA by helping us reach 2,000 fans on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/148apps. Once we hit that magic number, all of our recent fans' names go into a hat for a random drawing. Two lucky winners will receive invites to the music party of the year.

Spotify for iPhone Review

By Chris Kirby on July 15th, 2011
Are you Spotified yet? It's worth more than a quick look.
Read The Full Review »

Sync Music & Playlists Wirelessly with Spotify Update

Posted by Kyle Flanigan on May 5th, 2011
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Wireless music syncing? Wireless playlist syncing? It seems the 21st century is finally starting to live up to its expectations, thanks to an update from Spotify. A new version of the application will provide users with the ability to sync MP3s and playlists wirelessly, in addition to the “offline playlists” mode that finds local tracks in the Spotify and iPod app. That includes Spotify Free users.

A new download service has been unveiled too, making it a simple process to buy every song in a playlist. “Spotify’s new MP3 download service makes it possible to own your playlists in one easy step ... we’ve been able to offer you some of the most competitive prices available - from as little as 50p per song.” The download prices are tiered, depending on how many tracks you buy: 10 will cost £7.99 (80p per song); 15 will cost £9.99 (67p p/s); 40 will cost £25 (63p p/s); and 100 will cost £50 (50p p/s).

“From today, Spotify really is the only music player you’ll ever need” writes Daniel Ek, CEO & Founder of Spotify. “Our users don’t want to have to switch between their music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go ... now we’ve made that possible.” The new features will be packed into a new version “rolling out to users ... over the coming days.”

iPod Classic, Nano and Shuffle users haven’t been left behind, with new functionality to manage music from the Spotify desktop application. Simply connect an iPod via USB and watch it appear under ‘Devices’ in Spotify. iPhone and iPod Touch owners - check your updates now, there’s at least one waiting for you.

More Music Apps Join The Background-Enabled Party

Posted by Ben Harvell on June 30th, 2010
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

While Pandora got the top billing when Apple demoed iOS 4 multitasking, other music services are also updating their apps to support background play.

Multitasking in iOS 4 allows compatible apps to run in the background while another app runs in the foreground. Apps in the background can continue to perform tasks such as play music streams.

Slacker Inc has announced that its personal radio application, Slacker Radio, has been updated to support multitasking and is available now for free on the App Store. The currently Europe-only Spotify is also headed for background-centric adjustment with the company announcing on its blog that an update has been submitted to Apple. The blog post goes on to suggest that a “surprise” will also be included in the update to thank users for their patience.

As well as music streaming, GPS navigation apps and social networking clients are also popular background enabled apps. Expect to see many more updates of this type in the coming days.

iTunes Streaming Not On The Cards Just Yet

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 5th, 2010

After Apple acquired music streaming service Lala Media at the end of 2009, many believed it would be bringing this cloud-based technology to its iTunes service very soon. While Lala will shut down on May 31st it appears that it may still be a while before a streaming version of the iTunes Store for both desktop computers as well as iPhones and iPads will be launched.

Lala offers a catalog of over 7 million songs that stream directly to users over the internet. In order for listeners to listen to a specific song at any time and as many times as they wish they are required to pay a $.10 fee. Songs are also available to download at prices similar to the iTunes Music Store. Apple acquired the company in December 2009 for an undisclosed fee thought to be around $17 million.

However, after initial excitement at the Lala Media shutdown announcement, it appears not to denote an imminent launch of Apple's own streaming product.

Apple is said to be talking to record labels regarding a streaming service but these discussions have been pegged as "preliminary at best" according Peter Kafka writing for MediaMemo at All Things D.

The success of streaming music and video applications like Spotify and Pandora for the iPhone and the new ABC Player for iPad have added weight to the rumours that Apple will begin to deliver music and movies in the same way via iTunes but it appears this move could still be a way off.

Apple is well aware of the demand for streaming music services after showing Pandora's application streaming music while making use of the new multitasking feature found in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0.

One of the key factors in such a service is the method in which payment would be made by consumers. While Apple has strong ties with the major record labels it took a long time to thrash out a mutually beneficial deal. Changing the landscape for music delivery may introduce further issues. Streaming music a user already owns on iTunes is one possible outcome however a subscription model may also be made available which would tie in to an iPhone and iPad application.

With Apple's World Wide Developer Conference only a month away, those hoping for an announcement on the topic will likely be disappointed, with many sources claiming the launch of a streaming iTunes service won't happen before the third quarter of this year.

[via MediaMemo ]

Spotify Wins!

Posted by Chris Hall on August 27th, 2009

Being a proud citizen of the United States of America, I enjoy many fine things in life. I eat Tex-Mex quite regularly, my Chinese food contains almost no vegetables, and I can go to football games (no, not soccer) whenever I get a chance, but there is something missing from my life. No, not a functional countrywide rail system... Spotify!

I had Spotify for about a month in the States (via nefarious methods) but those plodding Europeans shut down my account, saying that I was out of the country for too long. Sorry... I'm just bitter. That month may have been the best month, musically, of my life. I love Pandora to death, but having the ability to make a playlist using whatever song I want made me really happy. Unfortunately, due to what I'm sure is doing of a mentally incompetent Congressman, music laws prevent Spotify in its current form from existing in the US.

Regardless of my personal issues with the music industry, Spotify happily exists in Europe, and the iPhone app has just been approved by Apple according to PaidContent:UK. I could get into the approval process that Spotify had to go through, but the focus here is on me. I'm the one that can't use the app. So lame. For all of you UK readers, here's a really cool video of the Spotify app in action. Enjoy!