So spotify is about to go mobile , http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8169971.stm, and as usual it’s being touted as a ‘something killer’. In this case Apple’s iTunes.
I use spotify on occassion. Having a huge music collection that isn’t completely ripped yet it’s often much easier if entertaining to plug the laptop into the HiFi and then use spotify to stream the album than it is to try and find it. It’s also great at work when I forget my portable drive with the music collection on it. There are some gaps in the library, but they tend to be the very obscure or back catalogue things, and it seems to be improving all the time.
But as a mobile app? It could be great, but there’s a couple of things need fixing before it’s going to really take off:
1) Mobile networks need to catch up on the speed and availability. I’m on T-mobile and still find it takes far to long to load even simple pages over 3G let alone stream audio. OK, phones doe voice but that’s at a much lower quality than I’d want to listen to music at. Plus I regularly lose 3G coverage, and that would be far too slow for audio
2) Phones need to get better battery life. I reckon a solid 2 hour listen to spotify on any mobile device at the moment would run the battery flat. So that’s pretty much one reasonable train journey and your mobile’s dead.
3) Allow you to download the tracks. Following on from 1+2 there’s plenty of times when I’d like to listen to music when I don’t have mobile signal. So it’d be nice if I could have some way of saving or caching these tracks.
So until that little lot get’s sorted then I think I’ll be sticking with having offline copies of songs and only save Spotify for those days I forget to take the portable drive to work. The only thing I can see it being used for would be to turn an iWhatever into a nice little portable streaming device on a home wireless network.
But the interesting thing could be waiting for see if Apple approve’s this for the iTunes store. That could be an indication of how worried they are by it.