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Written on July 17, 2010, and categorized as Technology.
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Spotify has more or less replaced radio for me. I’ve been listening to it for the last year or so.

It’s an interesting and mostly good quality service. Sound is far better than MP3 format music because it uses superior OGG encoding. Mobile, I have actually walked through a park, searching for tracks on the fly as my friend and I discussed music, and playing them via 3G with no discernable lag. This kind of service is possible with the iPhone, any decent Android phone and half a ton of Nokia devices, probably.

Spotify’s social side is pretty basic. You can share playlists, connect to people and view their public playlists. You can send music to people’s inbox, which is a nice thing to do, but I wish I could attach a simple message like you can on Twitter or Facebook. You can “share” a playlist with others which means co-create and curate a playlist, nothing more than that – yet. I’d like to see some intelligent use of RSS.

Spotify is as yet available in a few European and Scandinavian countries. It has backers in the music industry and is coping well with a patient technical rollout. They do have some gripes among their key premium users – gaps between songs being a serious, ongoing complaint. “Gapless” digital playback (as per CD since time the 1980s) is not implemented with this service. Is it the Spotify client, or is it caused by Spotify’s encode methods? Fans of long format music listening, paying for an uninterrupted ad-free service, leave in despair, unable to enjoy classic recordings as they are meant to be heard.

But the most interesting thing to me is that people are beginning to tap into the possibilities of programme making with Spotify. Danny Ryan at Kudos Records has started Playdio. He sees the cultural possibilities in the Spotify format. Publishing spoken word sections to play in sequence with music, creating an interesting kind of radio show web magazine hybrid, they are exploiting a great opportunity.

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