We were the first publication, that we know of, to predict that Spotify would launch music apps last month. Having since spoken with several of the developers of these apps, it’s clear that they expect their inclusion in Spotify to generate significant of interest, and maybe oodles of new revenue as well.
Spotify says it plans to open its app platform up to a wider circle of developers over the coming months, and in fact, it is already doing so. Unlike the first round of apps, which came from tastemakers like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, these latest Spotify apps are all about P2P curation, which is industry-speak for fans sharing mixes and top ten lists.
Welcome two new music apps to the Spotify desktop software, both of which can be used whether or not you pay for Spotify.
Spotify and other unlimited music services revolve around the playlist, because they’re such a powerful way for individual music fans to make sense of a 15-million-song-plus music catalog. In a sense, making a playlist is as close as some of today’s music fans ever get to collecting music the way our predecessors did.
You’ve always been able to share links to playlists and subscribe to those of your friends within Spotify, but this new ShareMyPlaylists app takes that to the next level by creating a shared area for playlists, accessible by all Spotify users, even if they aren’t friends on Facebook, Twitter, or within Spotify’s own social network.
Unlike the other app listed here (or, indeed, Spotify itself), ShareMyPlaylists lets you use it even if you refuse to grant it access to your Facebook or Twitter accounts — that’s right, you can sign up with a regular, old-school, unverified email address. Once you add your playlist, it appears in whatever genre you categorized it. Or, if you don’t have a playlist you want to share with the world, you can enter any artist name to generate a playlist, which you can edit before sharing.
In addition, ShareMyPlaylists offers a neat way to search other people’s playlists using adjectives or other words, based on the text they used to describe their playlists.
Ever since the first music fan was stranded on a remote desert island with only their favorite albums to keep them company, music lovers have been obsessed with making lists of the best music to keep ourselves company. To that end, the new Top10 Spotify app presents a wide array of top ten lists from your fellow Spotify users, with voting enabled by multiple users. For example, the Top 10 Prince Songs list we were just checking out included votes from 17 people so far.
You can listen to other people’s Top10 lists as much as you want within Spotify, but if you want to vote or make your own, you’ll need to log in to the app with your Facebook ID. That gives it access to your basic information, profile information, send you email, post your Top10 activities to your Facebook page as you, and access your data even when you are logged out of the application. (You didn’t think free music was really free, did you?)
However, if you like making lists (see also my pal Lisa’s Listography series), the privacy trade-off is worth it, and it can also give your friends something to do. After you make a list, you can choose to share it with Facebook in general or invite specific friends to help rearrange your list by voting.
To access these apps, download the latest version of Spotify, then click on App Finder in the right sidebar. You can use them without installing them, although they’re easier to access if you do.