Spotify rolls out social features

Spotify has broken months of near-silence to announce some new features that allow you to share tracks more easily with your friends.

The music service, which is only available in Europe has integrated Facebook Connect to allow you to create a profile and publish playlists, as well as your top artists and top tracks. You can add "friends" either by making them your friend on Facebook or by inputting their username into the search field.

A new "Inbox" will allow you to send individual tracks, albums or artists to people by dragging and dropping content onto their name, and music that your friends have posted on Facebook will be viewable in Spotify. Playlists will be revamped too - with a counter indicating how many people are currently subscribed and the ability to see who added what and when in a collaborative playlist.

There's also support for local music files. If you've got MP3 tracks on your PC that aren't available in Spotify's library, Spotify will still be able to play them. Using Gracenote, it'll determine any missing or incorrect track info and replace it, as well as allowing you to add MP3s to playlists. Using this functionality, you can also sync MP3 tracks to your mobile phone.

All tracks and albums can now also be "starred" - like Google lets you "star" messages, locations and search results. Playlists are getting images - a mosaic comprised of artwork taken from the first nine tracks in the playlist. Finally, you'll be able to automatically replace broken tracks in playlists - meaning that you won't be stuck with so many dead links because a playlist owner hasn't refreshed his song listing.

Update: The update has been pulled from Spotify's website.

The update will be available to download at 9am on 27 April from spotify.com/download/ but if you don't want to fiddle around with that then the update will be rolled out progressively over the coming week.

What do you think of the new features - is this a "whispers" iTunes killer? We rather suspect it might be...

Update: Spotify's telling us the download page is "still warming up". Hold your horses.

Update II: It's live at the page above. Our top tip is to disable the Gracenote database lookups if you have your MP3s mostly tagged as you want them. It gets a lot of things wrong and seems to be irreversible.



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