Spotify has quickly emerged as the most popular subscription-based, streaming music service, eclipsing competitors like Rhapsody with its tremendous ease-of-use and its well-implemented social networking features. While the desktop versions of Spotify are extremely popular, the company only recently introduced an app for the world’s most popular tablet, the iPad. The new app is one of the most highly anticipated apps for the iPad, and fortunately, it’s a solidly implemented, full-featured way to experience the excellent music service.
Spotify is known for the user-friendly interface of its Windows and Mac OS programs. The company was careful not to make any dramatic changes when porting the program to the iPad, and it packs in the same features as the desktop versions. Playlists, albums and songs from a user’s Spotify library automatically show up on the iPad, providing a seamless transition to the tablet.
Some of the Spotify iPad app’s controls are customized for the iPad, and longtime iOS users should have no trouble figuring out these controls. For instance, tapping and holding a song brings up a list of options, including the ability to add a song to a playlist or add a star to it, allowing a simple way to keep track of favorites. The play, forward and back buttons also mirror the aesthetic of iTunes and Spotify’s Mac OS program.
Overall, the Spotify app is everything that a Spotify user could want and a little bit more. It allows users to easily explore the company’s massive library of albums and artists with a clever interface and intuitive controls. Features like the What’s New tab make it easy to find new music and to use the Spotify service’s social networking capabilities; users can easily find out what their friends are listening to and share album recommendations. It’s also easy to find album information and biographies about artists and bands. Tapping on a song will bring up links to Allmusic Guide, one of the web’s most popular music review websites. This makes it easy to learn about music while finding new recommendations, turning music listening into an engaging, interactive experience.
The app also boasts excellent sound and image quality. Audiophiles will appreciate the ability to download MP3s at brilliant 320 kbps bit rates, and the 500×500 resolution of the app makes album art come alive. The iPad version of Spotify also supports crossfading and gapless playback, which makes it a formidable substitute for iTunes for hardcore music fans. Users can also play songs through their home stereos with AirPlay, and for power users, this is arguably the most impressive feature. With a few minutes of easy setup, users can play thousands of high-quality songs through their home stereos. Spotify’s music library is tremendous, and the AirPlay feature alone makes the service worth the cost of a subscription for serious audio fans.
While the Spotify iPad app doesn’t introduce any major new features, it gives users everything that they love about the ubiquitous music service. It’s also free, although it requires a Spotify subscription. For users who are willing to spend the $10 a month, it offers an excellent way to enjoy the massive library and brilliant presentation of the service on an Apple iPad.