Spotify is planning the U.S. launch. A New York office has been established and the company has also bought server space in the United States.
The company has previously announced that they are negotiating partnerships with Internet and mobile operators, but have so far failed in terms of licensing agreements. Among other things, record companies feels there are to few customers that have connected to the pay version of the service.
In anticipation of the contracts falling into place, Spotify have released the biggest update since its start in 2008 and hope that new features will cause an increase in paying users.
- When people see it as their primary music solution rather than an addition, we believe that people are willing to pay for it, says product manager of Spotify, Gustav Söderström.
The new features is largely about making the music service more social. By connecting the user’s Facebook account to Spotify the user gets access to friends’ playlists and favorite artists.
- There is often a friend who you think has good taste in music. Then you can listen through and pull over and save their playlists to your account.
It is also possible to send songs and playlists to each other and see what music your friends has shared on Facebook.
Another new feature is the ability to play music that is stored locally on your computer.
- People still have their old CDs, music and remixed versions of higher quality than what we have, “says Gustav Söderström.
He is hoping that the updates will help Spotify to integrate with third-party services. Gustav Söderström He mentions the music service Last.fm, which offers tips on users with similar musical tastes, and recently added Spotify links in their library.
- We are trying to become more of a music service and not just a streaming service, he says.
The new features is available for both free users and paying customers. The update is rolled out to users starting on Tuesday morning, but can also be downloaded directly from Spotify.
Here is a video that Spotify have put together which will walk you through some of the new features:
The full list of new features, which will be made available to both free and premium users, includes:
- Connect to Facebook: you can connect to Facebook inside of Spotify, instantly adding all your Facebook friends who’ve selected the same feature. Your friends’ profiles will appear in a new ‘People’ sidebar at the right of the screen, with your personal profile at the top.
- Add usernames: you can also add people by typing their Spotify username, should you know it, into the Spotify search field. For example searching ‘spotify:user:username’ will bring up their profile (if their profile is published).
- Publish your Spotify profile to the web: easily publish the link to your Spotify profile on your blog, Facebook page, website or anywhere else on the web and allow others to follow your musical journey. For example here’s a link to the official Spotify profile.
- Inbox: a new ‘inbox’ folder on Spotify’s left sidebar lets you send tracks to friends directly within the platform, simply by dragging and dropping a track to their name in the People sidebar. Alternatively, just right click on the track and select the new ‘send to’ option.
- Facebook feed: music your friends have posted on Facebook will be visible on the Spotify ‘What’s new’ page and via a new ‘Feed’ tab.
- Popularity count for playlists: all playlists will show how many other Spotify users are currently subscribed to that playlist. By clicking on the number, you can even see the usernames of those who added the playlist.
- Track playlist changes: see who and when a track was added to a playlist with the new ‘Added’ and ‘User’ columns in playlists.
- Local files: missing any music in Spotify? Now you can import a link to all the music files stored on your computer with a simple click of a button.
- Gracenote: As with any good music media player, if you have missing or incorrect track information you need software to check those files and automatically correct them so that you can better organise and link them to our catalogue. Gracenote does just this.
- Local file linking: we will check your local files and see if we have that track/artist/album in Spotify. If we do, we’ll make the file linkable so you can easily go from that file into an artist or album page. This allows for better sharing of playlists that contain a mix of your own music and Spotify’s.
- Starred: every track and album on Spotify can now be ‘starred’ – allowing you to tag all your favourites into a special sub-folder.
- Wireless sync: you can copy your music files to your mobile without connecting a USB cable with our new wireless sync feature.
- Filter bar: the library has a permanent filter-bar at the top so you can easily type in what you’re searching for. In all other lists the filter bar is visible when pressing cmd-f (mac) or ctrl-f (windows).
- Mosaic images for playlists: the artwork from the first nine tracks in a playlist will create a cool mosaic image for your playlist
- New toolbar in headers: Sharing music to Facebook/Twitter and your friends is much simpler. Easy to subscribe or unsubscribe to a playlist as well as view information about how popular a playlist is.
- A share icon in ‘Now playing’ artwork: makes sharing what you’re currently listening to much easier.
- Automatic track replacement: Spotify will now automatically try to find a replacement for any track you can’t play. So if a friend in another country sends you a playlist with tracks you can’t play or a local file, we’ll search our catalogue and link to a playable track when possible. A ‘link’ icon next to the track name represents replaced tracks.