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My wishlist for Spotify

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 11 Oct 2009 12:56 User comments (2)

My wishlist for Spotify I rarely endorse any product wholeheartedly, but I must confess that Spotify has really, really made a difference to my music listening habits during the past 6 months or so. Spotify, for those of you who don't know the product yet -- or live in a country, like U.S., where it isn't available yet -- is essentially a free, ad-supported music streaming service that has massive music library (with good audio quality; -q6 Vorbis for users of the free version and -q9 Vorbis for users of the premium version) with dead-easy user interface.
I've argued for years that once music industry (applies to movie industry as well) can create a product that beats the illegal alternatives in usability and has the correct pricing model, they can actually tackle piracy effectively. Spotify comes close. Very close. Once their S60 client finally ships and I can use the service also with my N97, I'm quite certain that I'll abandon MP3s for most of the time.

So, I thought I'd create my own -- arguably quite small -- wishlist for Spotify's further development..
  1. The above-mentioned S60 client is a must-have for European markets where Nokia single-handedly dominates the smart phone market
  2. Ability to add local MP3s to playlists.
    • After all, Spotify doesn't have contracts in place with all the labels and copyright holders in the world, which means that you're bund to have MP3s on your HDD that can't be found from Spotify. Currently you can't mix these tracks with Spotify's playlists.
    • And when Spotify finally adds this feature, I'd love to see the artist/biography/album data applied automatically also to the locally stored MP3s, just like Spotify does for streamed tracks
  3. Recommendation mechanism, like Last.fm or Pandora
    • Sure, Spotify has a built-in ability to connect itself to your Last.fm account, but why would I have to use two services instead of one?
  4. Importing standard playlists
    • After all, .m3u and .pls have been around for more than decade now, so an ability to support standard playlists would be really, really nice addition. Sure enough, it would need either the ability to play local MP3s or an ability to scan them through for artist/album/track info in order to find the correct tracks.
  5. Support for audio and video podcasts
    • Apple has done many, many things right with their iPod/iTunes world domination and the just-click-and-it-works support for podcasts is one of them. I follow several audio and video podcasts and hate the idea that I need to change the client every time I decide to take a break from music listening and want to listen a podcast instead.
  6. Open up the API
    • If you take a lesson from Twitter and Facebook, you can easily see that any service nowadays is strongly dependant on its ability to build a community of third party developers to support the environment. (use of Twitter, for example, via its web site is pretty horrible experience -- but when you use a 3rd party client for the service, the whole experience changes completely)
    • Sure enough, the way Spotify makes money from free users is via its advertising model, so locking down the API to premium users is a must, but even then, it could spark wide variety of extremely interesting concepts built around Spotify's technology -- and each user of such third party clients would also have to be a premium user, thus boosting the sales of Spotify.
    • Clients on alternative platforms -- like Despotify for Linux -- already do this, by allowing premium users to use Spotify on a platform not officially supported by Spotify. But as this type of clients are essentially hacks, how many Linux users are actually willing to a pay for a service that can go offline any given day, without advance warning. By opening the official API, Spotify would ensure that the users of alternative platforms would also be willing to pay for the service.
How about you guys, any ideas on how to improve Spotify further -- or ideas for an alternative/competing service that would make legal music listening experience even better?

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2 user comments

115.10.2009 13:59

Yeah... I agree... Spotify has changed my listening habits aswell...
nice ideas too... but the big companies don't seem to like it... wonder why... I just hope it survives the time test... it works for me... and IMO its the way of the future... your a smart cookie about the api... people not only want free music they want to control it too and how they interface with it... lets just get it worldwide first... that in itself is going to be a big enough battle for the time being... until then... we can all dream...

215.10.2009 17:35

It makes too much sence the music industry will 'need' to crush it!

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