Spotify is continuing its push to become a robust music platform, not just a music player. The company has announced a big batch of new apps that will become available in the coming days.
Among the 12 new apps that will be available to integrate into the Spotify player are offerings from several record labels, including Def Jam, Domino, Matador, and Warner Music Group; TweetVine, an app that finds and organizes the most popular songs on Twitter; and Filtr, a playlist app that allows the user to build playlists based on what Facebook friends have been listening to.
Spotify first added apps back in November, unveiling a new desktop player with a mini-feed, a favorites list, and room in the left sidebar for users to add applications that took advantage of Spotify's music library. Those initial apps included offerings from music publications like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, which allowed for the user to listen to albums and songs while reading critical reviews; TuneWiki, which automatically surfaced lyrics for the song currently playing; and Soundrop, which sets up genre- or artist-based virtual rooms in which users can congregate and listen to the same song in real-time, and also nominate and vote for the next song to be played, a sort of digital DJ by committee.
Though Spotify unveiled its new platform at a lavish media event featuring a performance by the band fun., it is difficult to say exactly how successful these apps have been. Spotify has not released app usage figures, though it did put out a blog post in early March to say that "Everyone's loving Spotify apps!" and that users had already spent 1,500 years inside Spotify apps. Regardless of usage figures, this latest batch of apps shows that Spotify is at least committed to promoting additions to its (so far) limited app market. (The 12 new apps brings the total number of apps available on Spotify up to 27).
You should be able to try out these latest apps now -- look for them by clicking on App Finder on the left sidebar of your Spotify player. If you don't see App Finder, you might need to upgrade your player; Spotify should prompt you to do so with a restart banner at the top of your player.
Below, check out all 12 of the apps that Spotify is adding (descriptions via Spotify).
Classify: Classify opens Spotify’s doors to the world of classical music. Browse by composers, eras, moods, instruments or genres. A vast library of classical music is now intelligently organised for your listening pleasure.
The Complete Collection: Browse rich images, lyrics, and liner notes to learn more about iconic artists while listening to their music. Always wanted to know who wrote that Eminem song? Looking for the producer of your favourite beat? Use The Complete Collection to immerse yourself in music history while listening to legends you love! Subscribe to your favourite artists to learn more about their music. With the Complete Collection, you won't miss a detail. 150 album booklets available at launch with many more coming soon.
Def Jam: For over 26 years, Def Jam Recordings has shaped culture and lifestyles by creating the very best in hip-hop, rap, R&B, and pop music. Def Jam’s new Spotify app will give you new experiences in music discovery and curation.
Digster: Digster has fresh playlists updated weekly. You can browse playlists by category, find playlists made by artists and match Digster playlists to your listening history and Facebook likes. When you find something you like you can play it in full screen mode. Perfect for a party or when you need to see what's playing across the room while preparing dinner.
Domino: The Domino Spotify app is a discovery and listening destination for fans of Domino artists, the Domino label and the larger independent music community. Through the app, Domino leads the listener through its 20-year history by highlighting artist playlists, custom catalogue exclusives and commentary from their friends and neighbours in the world of indie.
Filtr: Filtr is a playlist app, which allows you to build playlists based on the music tastes of your Facebook friends, people who’ve accepted invitations to Facebook events, music genres, your Spotify playlists and favourite artists. On top of generating awesome playlists, Filtr also recommends existing and live updated editorial playlists based on what you like.
Hot or Not: Hot or not? You decide. Vote for your favourite songs, either based on what you think is popular or what you wish to make popular. You’ll be rewarded with points and you can earn badges as well as see your scores compared to all your Facebook friends!
The Legacy Of: A visual feast. Dig deeper into some of the world’s most acclaimed artists with hi-res photos, curated playlists, handpicked albums, biographies and more. Delve into the catalogue of artists like Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Stevie Ray Vaughan. New artists highlighted every week.
Matador Records: Matador’s app gives you the ultimate experience in new releases, tour dates, playlists and more. As well as keeping you clued up on Matador’s latest, you can browse through the history of releases from Matador since 1992 - an interactive guide to music from the New York indie label.
[PIAS]: The [PIAS] app helps you discover the very best new albums and expertly curated playlists from the indie label. Updated weekly, you can now rely on trusted voices to introduce and recommend great music from both past and present.
TweetVine: TweetVine is a perfectly formed little app that listens to all the tweets on Twitter with the hashtag #NowPlaying and creates Spotify charts from the results! The idea was developed at a London Music Hack Day by brilliant coders Matt Larsen and Matt Schofield from Universal Music.
the warner sound: the warner sound features songs, albums, and playlists from Warner Music Group’s outstanding roster of artists including Green Day, Bruno Mars, Linkin Park, and Cee Lo Green, hot and emerging artists like Wiz Khalifa, Ed Sheeran, Kimbra, Birdy, and Fun, as well as legendary acts like The Doors, Grateful Dead, and Aretha Franklin. Additional features include genre-specific playlists, album of the day, family tree (where current artists are traced back to the classic roots), and artist-curated playlists from today’s hottest acts.
View Spotify's app releases from 2011 via the slideshow.
Moodagent is a playlist creator. The team at Moodagent has crawled through each and every song in Spotify's 15 million track library and rated the tracks based on how Sensual, Tender, Happy and Angry each is. You can create a mood-based playlist several ways with Moodagent -- first, by pressing one of the four mood icons at the top and letting random songs populate the list; second, by entering the name of a track or artist and allowing Moodagent to discover 20 to 25 songs with a similar mood; third, by dragging any of your favorite songs into Moodagent and having it create a list; and fourth, by dragging in a playlist you've made outside of Moodagent and letting the app sort the playlist from happiest to least happy, most sensual to least sensual, etc. Above is a playlist created from the (rather sad) song "Carolina" by Girls; the line graph shows the fluctuations in happiness as the playlist goes on.
Perhaps the most beautiful of the new Spotify apps, We Are Hunted is a music recommendation engine that breaks music into several searchable categories: 1. Emerging Chart: The 99 most popular songs by emerging artists, ranked in terms of their popularity on We Are Hunted. 2. Mainstream Chart: The 99 most played songs by Mainstream Artists. 3. Genre Chart: The 99 most played songs in seven genres. 4. Instant Playlist: Enter an artist and have a custom 99-song-long We Are Hunted playlist made just for you. Above, a playlist based on my love of The Avalanches. A great HTML5 design by the Australian team at We Are Hunted makes this app a rich and rewarding music discovery experience on Spotify.
The iconic music and culture magazine Rolling Stone comes to Spotify as an app. It will pair its reviews with playable versions of the songs and albums being reviewed. The app is built with four tabs: Recommended songs, Recommended albums, All reviews and Playlists. The Playlists tab contains curated and playable versions of irreverent Rolling Stone countdowns like "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time," "The Songs That Shaped ?uestlove" and "Tom Petty's Top Elvis Songs."
Soundrop gives Spotify a bonafide social listening service -- a room where you can listen to playlists with friends and strangers around the world. You can either start your own room for private listening or join a public room to hear music in a certain genre or on a certain theme. Once you are in a room, you can chat with other people who are listening in a small chat window or give your vote to the song you want to hear next. Above, I'm in the "Indie Wok" room (the room for indie music), along with two dozen or so new friends. We're listening to some Two Door Cinema Club, and it's a tight race between M83, Mumford & Sons and James Blake for who will be played next. M83 won, for those curious.
TuneWiki is a Spotify lyrics finder and karaoke machine -- simply play a song and click on TuneWiki to see the lyrics of that song. And you don't even have to scroll as the song plays; just sit back and watch the lyrics scroll for you, along with the music, as they are sung. If a song doesn't have lyrics, you have the option to add lyrics right from Spotify. If the song has lyrics wrong, you can Wiki it up and edit those lyrics. The scanning of lyrics in time with the music depends on user input, so if a song hasn't been "synced" yet, you can do that, too, by listening to the song and pressing a key on your keyboard as each line is sung. Super easy (and pretty addictive, too!)
The beta version of Spotify doesn't just have apps -- it also has Instant Search results in the search bar. Much like Google's AutoComplete, Spotify now predicts songs, artists, playlists and albums you may be looking for based on the first few letters you type. Here, I'm looking for "A Milli" by Lil Wayne, and Spotify found it -- fourth result from the top).
Hipster indie music site Pitchfork has a Spotify app, too, and it looks great. You'll be able to read current track and album reviews while you listen to the music, and a Pitchfork staffer told me it will be updated twice daily along with the website. The app has three tabs -- one for the LPs that earn the coveted "Best New Music" stamp from the website; one for all of the music that the site reviews, both good and the bad; and another for Playlists, both the end-of-the-year countdowns and those massive Best of the Decade playlists the magazine has published. Above, I'm reading the Pitchfork review of the new Real Estate album and listening to the intro track, "Days."
Songkick scans your music library and playlists and lets you know when the artists you like are playing shows in your city. You can also listen to popular songs from each artist within the app, and Songkick gives you a link to an external website to buy concert tickets if you're ready to mosh. Above, perhaps I'll check out The Roots in December. I do like their song "The Fire"!
Last.fm, that old music-discovery standby, can track every song you play on iTunes, Spotify, Rdio or wherever, and then spit out recommendations to you based on your tastes. The Last.fm app has an overview of your listening habits, artist info about the track you're playing and a whole bunch of recommendations, all within the Spotify desktop player. Above, I'm checking out Veronica Falls, which Last.fm says fit my tastes (and hey, I do like 'em!).