Monday, 27 July 2009

iSpot a flaw in this plan

So, it's finally happened: Spotify have announced their plans to go mobile. It's been rumoured for ages, and now a teaser video has been released, outlining a proposed Spotify iPhone 'app'. It's pretty much a big deal.

Not owning an iPhone, I wasn't too excited when I first heard
about this. I've got an iPod Touch, so I can access the internet
wireless within the confines of my own home, or within any
other open access wireless zone, but that's by no means a
universal thing. If it needed internet access in order to stream
music, it was of no consequence to me, I reasoned. But that's
the awesome thing about this application in its current
prototype form: playlists can be selected for offline streaming.

This is great - perfect for songs that you go through phases of
listening to a lot for a week or two, but have only a temporary
attachment to. Basically, songs that you want to listen to, but
have no real inclination to own. This is what Spotify is great
for in its computer-based form. Before this, if you wanted to
hear a song that you didn't already have, you had to
download it, be it through legal channels or illegal ones. Now,
you just search for them on Spotify. Recent such songs for me
would include 'Touch Me' by The Doors, 'At the River' by
Groove Armada and an Italian song called 'Primavera
Anticipada' by Laura Pausini (don't even ask). But could a
mobile version of this service completely change how we listen
to music?

The current downfall of Spotify for me is that I like to feel that
I 'own' tracks, whether I've bought them or not. Which means
having the opportunity to listen to them on my iPod as well.
Much as the Spotify adverts irk me, I don't get annoyed enough
by them to warrant paying £9.99 per month simply to get rid of
them. But to be able to listen to anything I want (provided I've
cued it up beforehand) while away from the internet? That
might just cause me to reconsider. After all, £9.99 for a month's
worth of unlimited music really isn't a lot at all when you think
about it; it's equivalent to just one album.

Ultimately, though, it's probably not going to get approved by
Apple, is it? Let's be honest - why would it be, in the form
they're currently proposing? With an iPhone, you can
download tunes directly to the device from the iTunes store.
And each time you do so, that's a nice little 79p for Apple.
Why would you do this in addition to having the Spotify app?
Unless Spotify are paying Apple a fair amount of cash, it's
likely that Apple would lose a fair amount of revenue. I'd
love to see the app in its proposed form get released, and
soon, but I'm not too hopeful about it. Fingers crossed, eh?

My current playlist, featuring some rather shameful picks: summer playlist

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