Spotify Launches Web Radio Service


Peter Kafka:

Spotify, which lets people listen to music for free, on demand, has finally launched its own Web radio service, which more or less mirrors Pandora’s core radio service. That is, this is a “real” Web radio service, that comes with advertising, unlike iterations Spotify has released in the past.

I saw Spotify’s offering via a very quick demo yesterday. If you’re a Pandora fan, it looks pretty compelling, though you’re much better off checking it out for yourself, as long as you have an iPad or iPhone — an Android version is in the works.

But here’s the key takeaway: Spotify now has an option that lets people use the service for free, on mobile devices. Up until now, the only way to get Spotify on the go was to pay $10 or more per month, while Pandora’s key selling point was free mobility.

Although there are plenty of compelling alternatives, Spotify has undoubtedly gained the greatest quantity of collective buzz for the non-technology-enthusiast public. Boasting pre-existing hype from Europe, a successful launch, and a broad variety of apps, Spotify sports a distinct sense of mass-market appeal.

With freely available content for mobile users, this appeal is only going to grow.

Rdio Arrives in the UK and France


Although Rdio has yet to officially confirm the launch, the music streaming service evidently launched late yesterday in both the UK and France. Available for £4.99 for web-only streaming and £9.99 for unlimited streaming, Rdio is in direct competition with the well-entrenched likes of Spotify and Deezer.

Honestly, at the end of the day, each service boasts its respective benefits but all, regardless of personal taste, ultimately deal with an economy of music library breadth. Rdio, from my experience, offers a somewhat smaller library in comparison to Spotify but, for what it lacks in an endless library, Rdio makes up for it in novel and affable social implementation.

I highly recommend at least experimenting with Rdio. The recent redesign, social aspect, and ever-increasing selection, all contribute to a wonderful music streaming experience. Perhaps it’s not for you but, in spite of such a presumption, I tend to think it’s worth — at the very least — a cursory glance.

Spotify for iPad

Spotify for iPad

Boasting beautiful, retina-enabled cover art, a novel user interface, and powerful gestures, Spotify for iPad has just been released.

With regard to the design of the app, the user interface is immediately reminiscent of Twitter’s paneled implementation for iPad. Although many have grown tired of this often frustrating paradigm, Spotify has certainly implemented some interesting touches. Whether it’s the unique gesture-based ‘Now Playing’ screen, powerful search, or the enormous cover art, Spotify for iPad is a refreshing experience, indeed.

In recent months — as I’ve clamored for an iPad-enabled streaming client — I’ve run Spotify and Rdio in tandem. While Rdio’s app is certainly capable, I can unrestrictedly state that Spotify’s app far outdoes its competitor’s efforts. In spite of this victory, however, I fully intend to sustain my Rdio subscription for the coming months. Rdio is undoubtedly the underdog in the equation, but the underdog in this instance happens to boast an utterly compelling social element for its service. Spotify’s flimsy Facebook integration, on the other hand, prompts frequent and outspoken contempt with each launch.

Now, with both Rdio and Spotify displaying their respective tablet hands, I find myself excitedly waiting for the forthcoming competition between the two. Rdio — ever a scrappy and affable service — has plenty of work to do, whilst Spotify has extensive refinements and improvements required of its entire application line.

As I’ve remarked all-too-frequently in the past, competition is certainly not a bad thing to behold.

As an aside, just to get it out of our respective systems, everyone please let out a collective “finally,” and move on. We certainly don’t need to be sifting through mountains of self-entitled headlines this morning, thank you.

For further coverage of the app’s launch, The Guardian, MacStories, The Next Web, and The Verge have extensive information and reviews.