Spotify Adds MP3 Download Store, iPod Support
I guess this comes as no surprise given the recent announcements of reduce playtime on the free Spotify service
Spotify has announced a raft of significant changes to its software, moving the service away from streaming and toward direct competition with iTunes. The changes come in the wake of significant cutbacks to its free streaming service. Spotify, based in Sweden, currently offers service only in Europe. It seems Spotify has decided that MP3s, rather than streaming, are the future. An updated version of the desktop and mobile software will be released shortly, which places far greater emphasis on playing music that you’ve already got, rather than streaming it from Spotify’s catalog.
If you haven’t imported your MP3s into Spotify already (the functionality has been available for more than a year), then it’ll prompt you to do that first of all, along with any iTunes or Windows Media Player playlists that might be lurking around your hard drive. That music can then be synced to Android and iOS devices, and — for the first time — even to old-school iPod Classics, Nanos and Shuffles. If you plug in any of those devices, they’ll appear in the left-hand column and you’ll be able to sync playlists to them, either automatically or by manually selecting which ones you want copied across.
The Android and iOS mobile apps are getting some changes too. The biggest is that they’ll now be available to Spotify Free users, who’ll be able to download and install them and use them to listen to MP3s. Streaming from Spotify’s catalog won’t be available to free users, only to Premium users, as before.
Finally, Spotify is launching an MP3 store. Previously, MP3 purchasing had been available from a partnership with 7Digital, but Spotify’s brought it in-house and built a download store into the client. Users will be able to buy bundles of MP3s — 10 for 8 pounds (approximately $13.25), 15 for 10 pounds ($16.50), 40 for 25 pounds ($41.35) or 100 for 50 pounds ($82.70). All songs that are available on Spotify’s catalog will be available to download — it won’t be as patchy.