Spotify gets Pandora-style recommendations

You might be familiar, if you're a hardcore Spotify user, with @Spotibot - a Twitter bot that recommends bands that are similar to other bands, as well as the Better Spotify Links project. Well, the coder behind it - Andy Smith - has just completed his latest app - an automatic playlist generator for Spotify.

To make it work, all you have to do is put in a band or artist name, and pick how long you want the playlist to be. It'll generate the list, which you can then edit and extend, and once you're set you just click a button and paste the whole list into your Spotify play queue. Very simple, very easy, and very powerful.

The data comes mainly from Last.fm - a service that can establish links between bands by seeing which songs are often played next to each other. Last.fm does provide a discovery system like this one, but gives no way of skipping around within a track, pausing, or going back to a previous song. It only lets you skip forward to the next song.

It's a little bit like iTunes' Genius playlists too - however those will only play songs that you've purchased or otherwise acquired in MP3 format - and you're not very likely to have paid for content that you don't yet know, so its usefulness as a music discovery tool is limited.

Instead, Spotibot's automatic playlist generation is most like Pandora - a US-based music streaming service that also generates playlists from bands. However, Pandora no longer allows UK users to access its site, citing prohibitively high licensing costs as the reason for ceasing the service in Britain.

Spotibot brings an important music discovery feature to Spotify that has been missing since the app launched. It's still a beta - so you might get the occasional odd result, but give it a try, and let us know what you think in the comments box below.