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Holidays Sector Report, Issue 10, August 2011 White Goods Sector Report, Issue 10, August 2011 12 th Aug 2011

A first look at the new Spotify apps

Nothing helps to pass an otherwise dull day in front of a computer screen faster than some capital T Tunes and those clever people at Spotify have found yet another way to make the soundtrack of your life even more excellent. The recently launched Spotify Apps provides music lovers everywhere with shiny new features, from more intuitive music recommendations and personalised playlists to gig tickets and streaming lyrics.

The preview version is currently available to test drive for free, excellent for those like me who enjoy all things free. Indeed, I only have a free subscription anyway. However, a warning to the spend-thrift. After about 3 minutes playing with the apps I'm giving serious consideration to forking out the hefty fee for a Premium account just so I will be able to use Spotify on my mobile.

The app that first won me over was Moodagent. It intuitively creates a playlist around a chosen song based on 4 moods: sensuality, tenderness, happiness and angriness. How one differentiates between a sensual and tender song is beyond me but never mind, you now have music for your next romantic evening! You can adjust the 'curve' of your playlist according to mood and tempo-complete with quite cool visualization too. Personally, this is going to REVOLUTIONIZE my gym experience. Click 'Anger'. Progressively increase tempo. Calorie burning. Ahoy!

The other app I suspect will get plenty of use from me is Songkick. It scans your playlists and tells you when your favourite bands are playing in a city near you. It's very user friendly and only takes a minute to build up a list of the bands you specifically want to track. You can then head over to the main Songkick site and register an account to make a personalized calendar of gigs. Fully interactive, this calendar lets you keep track of gigs past and future: by updating set lists, uploading photos, adding videos, etc.

The "social jukebox" Soundrop is another app of note.  It integrates with Facebook, allowing you to login and see when your friends are playing music, so you can discover and listen together. Friends can join your music "spot" directly from Spotify, and vote tracks up or even add new songs. You can do likewise - choose to join a friend's spot to do the same or just simply enjoy their spot like a radio station.

More impressive however, is the We Are Hunted app. It keeps you on top of cutting edge music by providing a constantly updated playlist of 100 tracks that are currently trending online, allowing you to filter by genre.

What does the future of Spotify apps have in store? This is limited only by the imaginations of music geeks and the skills of clever dev teams. Independent software developers have been asked to write new apps to add even more features to the online music streaming service. According to the Spotify website, new, better, more intuitive apps are already in the pipeline. For now, I'm off to stage some flash karaoke in the office with the TuneWiki. Any takers?

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