APP OF THE DAY: Spotify review (Windows Phone 7)
After a year of promises Spotify has landed on Windows Phone 7 and thus is another app ticked off the list. But, after all that waiting, is it any good?
We’ve been listening to find out...
- Windows Phone 7
Before we look at Spotify, it is worth pointing out that it is up against Microsoft’s own Zune with its monthly unlimited pass, and Nokia’s Nokia Music which takes a very different approach of giving you selection of music to listen to each week.
The Spotify app, which is free but will require you to have a £9.99 a month subscription, takes a different tack to both Microsoft and Nokia’s offerings and will be the most appealing to those already taking advantage of Spotify on their Sonos system or desktop without ads.
Load the app, sign in and you are presented with a sync of your playlists, play queue, people and settings to manage the app further. You can also search the entire catalogue.
Scrolling to the right gives you what’s new, and that’s basically albums that are hot or interesting at the moment. Then there is the feed from Spotify and others – you’ll mostly ignore it.
If you’ve subscribed to a stack of playlists or made your own, they are all present and correct and it is just a case of picking the one you want to listen to and then pressing play.
At the top of each playlist you get the option to download it to your phone and this means that if you are about to jump on a plane or are in a bad phone reception area you can still continue to listen.
We found that handy on our test train ride as otherwise you are left with silence.
On the play page you get simple play, pause, fast forward and rewind controls as well as a picture of the album you are playing. There is also shuffle and repeat. It’s pretty basic stuff, but then you are never wanting for more.
Moving to the next track simply involves a swipe in that direction.
Like the desktop app, where it starts to get fun is by tuning into what your friends are listening to. Here, you can see what their top music choices are and any playlists they have created, all at the press of a button.
Head into the settings panel and that’s where you get the main meat of the app. There is offline mode for when you travel so you don’t incur data charges, the ability to stream in high quality, as well as your 3G sync settings. Yes, you can stream over 3G.
Music quality is as good as the desktop version. Purists will no doubt whinge, but it will be fine for 99 per cent of listeners.
It goes without saying that everything has the ability to be run in the background, so you can check your emails or even play a game while listening to music, and the app taps into the WP7 audio controls.
While we like the Nokia Music approach of giving you music to just listen to without you really have to think too hard, Spotify gives you the ability to suddenly be in the mood for a certain track and 9 times out of 10 be able to listen to it.
For that reason, it is one that many WP7 users who already use the service elsewhere will love.
Music to our ears.