Soundrop, the Spotify app that lets you join virtual rooms to listen to music along with friends and like-minded strangers, released a new version on Monday morning with several improvements designed to make it easier to find your Facebook friends on the service as well as rooms playing music you might like, plus fun new options for creating your own room.
For starters, if you sign in with Facebook within the app — something that you have to do in addition to using Facebook to sign in to Spotify — the rooms where your friends are will shoot to the top of the room list. If you join a room where one of your Facebook friends is already hanging out, you’ll see their names and thumbnails at the top of the screen.
This is a nice improvement — not only because your friends might be into good music, but because the whole concept of “Tunes with Friends” or whatever you want to call it makes more sense when you’re listening with actual friends.
Soudndrop also made it easier to search for rooms by name; for instance, if you’re looking for dubstep today, you could search for that to turn up two user-generated rooms in addition to the official Dubstep room. This is also helpful, although it would be much nice to be able to search rooms by the bands in their song queue as well.
The company, which is currently seeking Series A funding, also added granularity to the room creation options. You can now specify a picture to describe the room in the main view; add a description; indicate whether the room is open for requests or curated by you alone; add a location, so that a future feature will allow people to find rooms based on where they originated on the planet; and decide whether people other than your friends can find the room (great for private listening parties).
In addition, all of that stuff can be edited now, so you can change your mind if, say, you decide you want strangers to stop finding the room where you’re hanging out with close friends.
Finally, it is now possible to bookmark rooms in order to find them more easily the next time you use Soundrop. This can be handy, because at one point this morning, 5,387 people were listening to music in 280 rooms.
To use Soundrop, you can run it within Spotify (after installing it from the App Finder in the left column) or, if you subscribe to Spotify on your iOS device, using a standalone app.