Spotify Platform hands-on

We test out Spotify's just-announced free apps platform with last.fm, Songkick, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone apps

Spotify App Finder

Spotify has rolled out ten apps in a Beta preview of its new apps platform – available for you to download now and go for a spin. An App Finder tab will appear on the left hand side of Spotify and adding the third party apps, which are all free, takes one click. More apps are on their way to Spotify's new platform but the streaming giant assures us that it'll be approving all apps before they're let loose on the public.

Spotify Platform  – last.fm app

One big draw to Spotify apps will be last.fm – sign in to your existing last.fm account (or create a new one) and the app will recommend albums and create playlists within Spotify based on your scrobbles.

Spotify Platform hands-on  - Spotify Platform  – last.fm app 2

You can drag and drop tracks into the last.fm app at any time to kick off a playlist – it creates mini descriptions of why you might like each album, a nice touch. Give last.fm another chance if you tend to find yourself hovering over the Spotify search bar for minutes on end, or despair at the RnB heavy top charts. 

Spotify Platform – Songkick Concerts app

Songkick has brought its clever iPhone app to Spotify and it's another one we'd use regularly. The Songkick Concerts app scans your Spotify library and, once you've entered your location, you'll get a slick scrolling calendar showing upcoming gigs near you.

Spotify Platform hands-on  - Spotify Platform – Songkick Concerts app 2

You can add multiple locations but what's also useful is that you don't have to stick to artists you already listen to. Browse gigs near you and artist bios and five top tracks will appear in the right hand column for you to sample. If you want to buy tickets, you'll be taken through to Songkick's website to choose from a list of ticket sellers.

More after the break...

Spotify Platform – Rolling Stone Recommends, Pitchfork, The Guardian, wearehunted apps

Download your music news and reviews app according to your allegiance – Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and The Guardian have all stuck their oars into Spotify apps. And although they're the least creative uses we could think of for a music app, they're useful if you need some guidance from music journos on high.

Spotify Platform hands-on  - Spotify Platform – Rolling Stone Recommends, Pitchfork, The Guardian, wearehunted apps 2

If Pitchfork is too mainstream for you, the wearehunted app creates playlists divided into 'emerging' and 'mainstream' based on a process that's part algorithm, part curation. As usual, you can instantly play all the tracks in Spotify.

Spotify Platform – TuneWiki, Soundrop, Moodagent apps

It's early days for Spotify apps but there's already a selection of quirkier ideas on offer. Click on the TuneWiki app when you're playing a track in Spotify and scrolling lyrics will appear but it's a work in progress as a fair few tracks we tried didn't bring up any entries.

Spotify Platform hands-on  - Spotify Platform – TuneWiki, Soundrop, Moodagent apps 2

Soundrop's Spotify app will be a nice, democratic addition to parties – especially once the apps go mobile. The app lets you create a 'room' where everyone can vote tracks up and down to play DJ.

And if you'd rather keep control yourself, Moodagent is another playlist tool that gives you moods and tempos to choose from. The control curve adds a new dimension as Moodagent will arrange your tracks to build – or bring down – the tempo. We're a big fan of starting off 'sensual' and ending up 'angry'.

Spotify Platform – Verdict

Spotify Platform is geared towards getting users to spend more time streaming music and – if you're still on the Free account – all these music discovery apps will have you itching to upgrade to an Unlimited account.

Spotify Platform hands-on  - Spotify Platform – Verdict 2

There are already new Spotify apps on the horizon like Top Ten, an app for creating top ten lists based on genres or bands and sharing them with friends via Facebook, but we'll be keeping our eye out for the Angry Birds-style must-have apps of the Spotify platform.

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