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Spotify Confirms iPhone App Sent to Apple

Gordon Kelly

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You may remember the exciting prototype Spotify iPhone app which the company unveiled in February. Well, now it has unveiled an even more polished final version is winging its way to Apple for App Store approval...

Fundamentals are that the Spotify app will allow music to be streamed online and, vitally, it can cache entire playlists for listening when there is no signal. Music playback resumes from exactly the point when you last exited the app and user playlist changes are pushed over the air to the iPhone when alternations are made on the desktop client. Users will also be able to share their tracks with other Spotify users and access artists' biographical info.

Furthermore, though it is absent from the video demo, I've quizzed Spotify and discovered that the app will work over 3G as well as WiFi though full details about this will only come once the company gets Apple approval.

This however could be a sticking point. Spotify rep Jim Butcher has said the company are very confident the app will get the thumbs up from Apple, but given the Cupertino giant keeps a ruthless guard of iPhone primary functionality it might not be all smooth sailing. After all, if Spotify isn't a serious threat to iTunes in this form I have no idea what is.

Other points worth mentioning are the Spotify app will only be available to Spotify Premium customers (which really does now add value to the Premium package) and that due to the limitations of the iPhone will undoubtedly have an impact on battery life and cannot run in the background - a real shame. Whether these issues affect the Spotify Android app currently also in development remains to be seen.

One thing does seem certain however: whether Apple approves or denies the Spotify app, streaming mobile media is an inevitable development which cannot be held back forever...

Link:

Press Release

lifethroughalens

July 27, 2009, 8:06 pm

I still can't see this being adopted by the masses -at £120 per year (or £9.99 per month) it's not cheap. I'm still not 100% sure but if you can archive the music that you've downloaded via the app on to an external hard drive, then use the music on several devices, non-DRM'd then, it's worth it.

Jones

July 27, 2009, 8:23 pm

Its a very interesting development. If Napster can follow with some sort of app and more importantly compatability between iPhone and their premium package then I will be very happy and will go down that route.





Lifethroughghalens, I think you are being a little unrealistic with your wishes. I currently pay £10 for the Napster service and have to say it is a fantastic way to A: discover new music and B: avoid buying albums that are crap (I still buy physical albums from Amazon).





"Renting" music and similar streaming services for gaming and movies/tv is the future. The sooner Apple accept this and allows 3rd parties to develop software the better.

Tim Sutton

July 27, 2009, 8:29 pm

Not so sure about that life.





If I didn't live in Stoneage Devon, where mobile connections are slightly less speedy than attaching individual 1s and 0s to carrier pigeons and hoping for the best, then I'd absolutely pay £120 a year to access all music ever whenever I wanted rather than paying lesser sums for just 13 albums a year from ITunes





The point of Spotify is you don't need to archive, its all there for you whenever you want wherever you are.





If highspeed mobile access becomes prevalent, then Spotify will rule the world. Maybe.





Also, if the masses equates to university students and teenagers, then they're already well on the way to universal usage, certainly in my experience.

Oliver Levett

July 27, 2009, 8:35 pm

"One thing does seem certain however: whether Apple approves or denies the Spotify app, streaming mobile media is an inevitable development which cannot be held back forever... " Umm... This is Apple you're talking about, and on the iPhone. If Apple choose not to, you'll have no chance. :p





@Tim Sutton: if the masses are "university students and teenagers", you're likely to find that quite a large proportion of them are equally happy torrenting the music as they are streaming it. It's certainly a lot less effort, and the files work on everything. :p

lifethroughalens

July 27, 2009, 8:53 pm

Have to disagree. Although 'renting' certainly is one future of mass market appeal music to a certain demographic, there will be plenty of people out there for decades to come who would rather own the physical music copy than always have to stream the content and rely on some sort of network coverage (that you're also paying for). That's also not to mention that there is still a very significant number of artists and labels who refuse to sign up to Spotify - and they're the really good artists I like!





When I travel, which is a lot, I usually carry 8-60GB's of music with me. I am regularly out of range of a phone network or even if I was within range, the costs of streaming would be crazy.





Also there's no need to buy cr@p albums any more simply because you liked the hit single - you can just get the single. Also, thanks to the free spotify version (which you can also easily record to hard drive @ 192KB with ID3 Tags- for free) I have discovered several new artists who's albums I have then gone and bought directly from Amazon. The brand new physical CD is almost ALWAYS cheaper than a daft poor quality MP3 download.





Spotify has it's place - but I bet it's a smaller one that it might hope. They should never have launched the free version!

Tim Sutton

July 27, 2009, 9:10 pm

@Oliver





I'd never condone piracy. Certainly not for TV shows I want to see that don't get shown over here. Its bad. Its very bad and wrong. Shocking, even.





The way it works in Durham and Cambridge universitys seems to be Spotify first, possibly followed by utorrent once a new artist has been tried out and found worthy. I've not been in anyones room in the last term who didn't run Spotify.





If Spotify was available 24/7, on phones as well as landline broadband? I don't think many would bother to clutter up their hard drives.

MonkeyMarsh

July 27, 2009, 9:44 pm

@Gordon





Will this work on the iPod touch (over Wi-Fi) as well as the iPhone? If so, then it would be a fantastic excuse to buy one.

pimlicosound

July 27, 2009, 9:51 pm

I wonder what O2 would make of all its iPhone owners suddenly streaming music all day on their 3G connections.

lifethroughalens

July 27, 2009, 10:14 pm

@ pimlicosound - well at the very least it should test the industry's 'Unlimited' data download tariffs claims! Although I already find O2 next to useless for reliability & coverage over 3G - the same with all networks in fact.

Gnormie

July 27, 2009, 10:15 pm

I don't see Apple accepting this app with 3G functionality, if it only worked over WiFi then maybe (unless Apple decides it's a better competitor) but I'm certain that Apple will reject it citing the Carriers lack of capacity or some such BS.

Goujon

July 27, 2009, 10:18 pm

I think that Spotify is an exciting idea. I still think however that it will remain a niche service untill 3G (or future versions) and wifi access becomes more available/reliable/faster.

Gordon394

July 27, 2009, 10:24 pm

@MonkeyMarsh - been told it works just find on an iPod touch over WiFi :)

MrGodfrey

July 28, 2009, 12:00 am

I am with lifethroughalens on this. I do enjoy using Spotify at home, listening to new music. But the fact is that a lot of the time I am not at home, and am moving about by foot, car or train. In those situations, a device loaded with MP3 files is a far superior option. If internet connections (fixed and mobile) throughout the UK were all consistently super-fast and extremely reliable, then things would be different... but they're not.





Media streaming may well be the future, but we're still waiting for our ISPs and telephone companies to come into the present. Until they do, I'll feel a lot more confident knowing I have files on a device that will continue to work when (not if) I'm without internet access.

rav

July 28, 2009, 12:16 am

Really can't see Apple allowing 3G streaming if previous apps are anything to go by. Why didn't they release an unhandicapped Android version?! Also, am I the only one who thinks the lack of multitasking will make this as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle? More than happy with mobile Last.fm for now.

Pbryanw

July 28, 2009, 1:14 am

I wonder how long before Apple launch a Spotify-like service? Even if they let you listen to full songs before purchase, it would be a step forward. I remember there were rumours of an Apple all-you-can-eat subscription service before Macworld - now with Microsoft getting involved as well, will Apple follow?

PGrGr

July 28, 2009, 2:34 pm

I think the people posting here are generally tech savvy and more likely to be audiophiles than the average. Thinking about this from the point of view of Spotify marketeers, the mass market quite frankly doesn't care whether the tracks are mp3 squashed or cd quality raw data. Would people really be able to tell the difference with a cheapo set of headphones anyway? So, if a few audiosnobs refuse to buy, I don't think Spotify's general prospects will be affected.





I am sure the networks will have some indication of the likely demands made from them, as a result of their experience with services like Vodafone's music service, which allows DRM downloads of their library of tracks. I know this is downloading, rather than streaming, but it must give Vodafone an indication of the level of demand for mobile music.

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