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Looking Good On the Outside

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In a word: brilliant!
Great, the waiting is over!! :-)
The last missing feature :)
I just had a religious feeling. This is too great news :)
Yes! Finally, the most anticipated and appreciated update ever!
You know I could kiss you right now ?

It may sound like we're about to witness the Second Coming, but these proclamations are actually responses to the news Spotify has added folder support for playlists. Admittedly these comments come from the official Spotify blog post and yes, this update was long awaited, but they do nicely sum up everything good and everything bad about the ingenious streaming music service.

"With millions of great playlists being created and shared we’ve looked to make it even easier for Spotify users to manage them with today’s introduction of playlist folders in this Spotify update," said Andres Sehr, the company's global community manager, in a tone which really did suggest Spotify had reinvented the wheel. It's the kind of self confidence we have come to expect from Apple - just substitute folders for FaceTime - and illustrates how far Spotify has come in a relatively short period.

It is under two years since Spotify first launched. In this time we have seen it spring up on Android, Symbian and - most surprisingly - iOS mobile platforms, introduce an offline mode, ink a download store deal with 7Digital, open up its API to third parties, secure funding, dive into social media and even launch a TV service.


The problem is Spotify can be as infuriating as it is brilliant and for all this innovation basic omissions remain. Folders will apparently make playlist management "even easier", but with nothing other than renaming and manually dragging them into order they were never easy in the first place. In fact it is an open secret that Spotify playlists are a mess and given Andres Sehr confirmed to me there's no ETA for folder support on mobile clients that is unlikely to change for some time. Considering their fundamental importance it's a bizarre situation and isn't an isolated example.

Spotify still has no search filters, playlist searches or smart playlists - they can't even be alphabetised. The radio mode is nothing of the sort, the Linux edition remains in beta and arguably the iTunes derivative UI could do with a much needed spit and polish. Even this latest update only now brings Snap Jump List and Taskbar features to Windows 7 users.

Furthermore, for all Spotify's success up to now, these problems are just the tip of the iceberg...

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