So, I love Spotify so far, but it lacks a handful of features that would make it the one music service to rule them all.
What I Love
I learned a long time ago, that before you say bad thing about someone you should say some good things. So here are the things I love:
- There is a lot of music here. More than I could listen to in a lifetime. That’s amazing.
- For $120/year, the cost of, well, 120 tracks on iTunes or like 12 albums, I can get all that music streamed to my phone, iPod, iPad, etc. That’s wicked cool.
- The part that is so compelling about Spotify to me is the social part. I can post a link to a song or playlist on any social network or IM client and other people can get right there (after a download, if they don’t already have the software). That’s amazingly cool to me.
- I am compelled by the notion that I could get a Squeezebox or Sonos system and play straight from Spotify all throughout my house, though those systems are bit expensive.
- I like their “What’s New” and charts. Since I never listen to the radio anymore, it is nice to get exposed to good music.
- Star ratings – Spotify offers the ability to star a track, but only one star. One star? I have to decide whether I like it or not? That’s way too binary. I need to be able to say that I like, love or really, really love a song.
- Smart Playlists – This is iTunes’ killer feature IMO. For me it works like this: I have a 64G iPod and a 100G+ library. My library is only going to grow. So, I simply can’t have everything I want on my iPod for when I’m in the car or an airplane or somewhere where I won’t be using Spotify. So I have iTunes load my iPod with Smart Playlists that play songs that I’ve rated 3-star and above and which I haven’t heard in over 120 days. This keeps me in new music that I like. I never hear anything I hate and it always feels fresh. Spotify needs to give me way to listen to music I like that rotates for me.
- Music Discovery – Sure the Genius feature is cool on iTunes/iPod, but that’s not the only way it could work. Spotify has so much more music than I do. People are making playlists fast. Here’s what I want. I want to make a playlist and I want Spotify to say “you know what this playlist is missing? Foreigner, that’s what!” Here’s the feature Spotify: call it Expanded Playlists. I create a playlist. I can play that playlist as is OR I can play the “expanded” version that has everything you suggested. It is where Genius playlists meets Pandora meets Spotify. And all it takes is a little mining of other users’ playlists.