Spotify for iPhone - Thoughts and Invitations

It finally arrived. The app I’ve been waiting for for almost two weeks, since it was announced that it had been approved by Apple, Spotify now takes pride of place on my iPhone.


Now, I’d like to first address some of the 1-star ratings the app has been getting on the App Store. Almost without fail, these are from people who obviously can’t read. The description for the app states quite clearly “Requirements: Spotify Premium subscription”. And guess what, the Premium Subscription isn’t free. Now, you’d think the term “Premium Subscription” would actually alert people to the fact they might have to pay for it, but no, they’re clearly downloading it in droves and then deciding it must be a piece of c**p because they were too stupid to read the description.

Secondly, do they honestly EXPECT it to be free? I can really see an 80-strong dev team spending god knows how much in licensing thinking to themselves, “You know, I’m feeling good today. I think we’ll just give all this away for nothing.”.

Folks, Spotify is a business. They’re in that business to make money. If you think ten quid a month for access to 6 million tracks and counting is too expensive, don’t use it. Simple as that. And don’t rate the app at 1 star because you couldn’t be bothered to read the description. You’re supposed to be rating the app, not your own intelligence.

Anyway, enough ranting. How does the app perform? Bloody well, it must be said. Performance over 3G is extremely good. I had about 2 drop outs whilst listening for a number of hours at work and this was down to the dubious signal quality in the office more than anything.

Sound quality is quite superb. It’s without a doubt the best quality audio I’ve heard from any streaming site.

As I’m sure you’ve read elsewhere, when you add tracks to your playlist, they will download to your machine when you’re connected to WiFi. An interview on Sky suggested the device could hold 3,333 tracks, but I’ve read elsewhere that it’s only limited by device memory. It does seem to take quite some time to download tracks when connected to WiFi, but I can live with that.

So, is it worth that tenner a month? Most certainly yes. Sure, you don’t own the tracks, but you can listen to them online and offline for as long as you have a subscription, so it’s pretty much as good as owning them.

I’m also impressed with the range of tracks available via Spotify. I also listen to Last.FM. I find it terrific for “discovering” new artists and I always make a note when I hear an artist new to me so I can look into more of their work. Of the 10 I had noted from the past week, Spotify had every track, enabling me to listen to the track in question, as well as additonal titles by the artist. This is just utterly fantastic.

If you like your music and you have a tenner to spare each month, get that premium subscription now and get the iPhone app. If you don’t have an iPhone yet, go buy one (or an iPod Touch or Android, I suppose). I’d go so far as to say it’s almost worth buying a device just for this app.

I’ve got 2 invitations to Spotify for anyone living in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France or Spain. (their terms, not mine). I’ll pick a couple of people at random from those who reply to this post within the next few days.