Spotify, the streaming music service, has released its latest version that brings the long-awaited social side to the platform.
At long last you can sync music that you’ve already bought with the rest of Spotify, with it now offering a library function which collects and imports all the tracks already on your PC. Music search for imported tracks is powered by Gracenote, and you are prompted to let Gracenote do your work for you when you install the new client.
Most interestingly though is the promised social side finally making an appearance, linking into Facebook connect and pulling in all your mates into your Spotify network. You’ll need to be quick to sort out your public library if, like this hack, your very first track is Jennifer Rush’s “The Power of Love”. At the moment it seems you can’t disable public playlists. It’s a great idea, already touched on by mFlow, that will make sharing playlists and discovering new music easier.
You can also add friends by searching for their Spotify username. On a profile page, as well as viewing public playlists, you can see what the top tracks and top artists of that user are, a la Last.Fm but less extensive, while also being able to message them.
The update isn’t just limited to Premium subscriptions, unlike Spotify Mobile. Free users and premium users alike can download the new client at Spotify’s page here.
After having played around with the technology for a while, we feel that it’s a great improvement to the previous version. All previous features, such as what’s new and recommendations, remain in tact. However one problem noted by TechEye resident geek James Crowley is if you used to simply drag and drop artists and tracks to playlists your brand new public playlist will look like a complete mess. At the moment it feels a little cumbersome when it comes to adding friends – it took one of ours about ten minutes before he showed up, despite already being on our Facebook profile.
As usual, unfortunately for new users, the free version of Spotify is still invite only. If you’ve got no friends with a log-in you’ll need to shell out the £9.99 a month. Spotify is still limited to European countries with no word as to when it will be available in the States.