When Spotify was launched back in October 2008 everyone was amazed with it. Having such a huge music catalog at your fingertips anytime, anywhere was simply awesome. It’s true that some people can’t find their favorite artists (any Pink Floyd fans here?), and that at some point you can get tired of ads, but Spotify is still an amazing application for all music lovers.
The one big drawback to Spofity, however, was its lack of social features. Being used to other audio streaming services like Last.fm, I found it weird not to have a contact list, or having to copy and paste song links in quite a rudimentary way in order to share them. Fortunately the all new Spotify 0.4.3, updated just today, comes with a bunch of interesting features, including a promising social side.
The first new feature we see when launching the latest version of Spotify is the Library: a centralized area where you can easily manage your complete music collection, including Spotify playlists, purchased music, songs you’ve marked as favorite with Spotify’s new starring system and even music you’ve imported into the program. Yes, the new Spotify lets you import songs from your computer, either as MP3 files or from your Windows Media Player or iTunes library.
Now it’s time to get social on Spotify. See the sidebar on the right side of the interface? From there you can access your Spotify user profile, a new area that includes your playlists, your favorite artist and your top played songs. You can add contacts to this list manually, if you know their Spotify username: just type
http://open.spotify.com/user/username (replacing the username bit with the real thing) in your web browser and their profile will open up in Spotify. You can also type
spotify:user:username in Spotify’s built-in search tool. Another option is importing your contacts directly from Facebook, though for some reason this didn’t work for me; it got stuck in the “Request for permission” window.
Spotify profiles help you learn about your friend’s favorite songs and artists, and also discover new music and new playlists they may have on their profiles.
Another social element in the new Spotify is the improved tool to share songs and playlists. Up to now, the only way to do it was by right clicking on a specific song or playlist, copying the link and then pasting wherever you wanted to share it. Now it’s much easier: while listening to a song, simply click the “Share” icon on top of the album cover to share it on Facebook or Twitter right away. To share playlists, click on the “Share” icon below the playlist’s name, on top of the page.
As you can see, the new Spotify has finally jumped on the social media bandwagon, a feature that many users missed in the first few versions. Add to that the ability to import your own music, and you’ll find it hard not to switch to Spotify permanently – and forget about traditional desktop audio players.