Spotify for iPad arrives, aims to become ‘the OS of music’
The goal to become, as one of Spotify’s executives described it, “the OS of music,” had eager fans of the service pushing the company to finally unveil the app, so the pressure to follow through was relatively high. The good news is that the app is as engaging and intuitive as other versions of Spotify are, if a few tidbits here and there do still need attention.
Search function allows you access to the service’s entire catalog, and, as with its desktop app, you can build, adjust and share playlists with friends and followers. Plug it into your home stereo system and bingo, you’ve got the service’s library at your fingertips. Sound quality is good (256 kbps, though they’d do well to up it to 320), and the stream is clean and relatively seamless.
The biggest concern, though, is the scant space devoted to music discovery and new release updates. The company relies on friend connections to serve this purpose, but it’s often difficult to intuitively learn about the new music that’s arrived onto the site. There are playlist functions for this, of course; one called “New Album Releases on Spotify” has more than 25,000 followers who learn about essential music recently added to the site. But little energy seems devoted to keeping listeners fully informed about new music.
The main Spotify home page — called “What’s New” — offers relatively little in the way of advice or tips, and what it does offer, a handful of new releases, much of it major-label fare, doesn’t seem designed to create recommendations that are relevant to the listener’s taste.
Also, the company’s selection of add-ons and plug-ins — a brilliant, built-in way to showcase and filter the vast range of music available — doesn’t function within the iPad version. Hopefully, these and other concerns will be addressed in future updates, but for now, if you’ve got an iPad and are able to spend $10 a month for the premium service, there are few better ways to discover and share new music than through Spotify.
– Randall Roberts
Photo: Screen shot of Spotify’s new iPad application. Credit: Randall Roberts / Los Angeles Times