The world’s best music-streaming service comes to Android, bringing millions of tracks right onto your phone. You can search for specific tracks or artists, build playlists, and then listen to songs that have been sent or shared by friends. Even better, though, is that you can download playlists directly to your phone and then listen to these offline while you are on the move. That rocks.
The Android app does a superb job of cramming Spotify onto a mobile phone. It’s simple enough to browse through recommendations, check your friends feed, listen to playlists and ultimately discover new music. As with the desktop version, the controls do lack a little polish – hey, this isn’t exactly iTunes. Then again, you aren’t being forced to spend £8 per album of compressed music, as Steve Jobs would happily have you do.
Another minor gripe is that you can’t share or send tracks directly from your phone, albeit that you can always allocate songs that float your boat with a “star” to remind you to do so later. Streaming playback is smooth over wi-fi and mostly so with a decent 3G-connection. Sound quality is good, especially so if you select the option to hear files with high bitrates – a measure of the technical calibre of an audio file. Be aware, though: unleashing Spotify on a regular basis over a 3G data-connection will swifly munch through you monthly traffic-allowance.
The cherry on the cake here, is that you can mark specific playlists for offline use, and Spotify will then download the appropriate tracks onto your phone for listening without a live connection (be sure to do so over wi-fi wherever possible). You must then go online at least once a month so that the phone can establish that your Spotify account is still active. Indeed, the only significant snag is that in order to enjoy all this musical goodness you must sign up for a Spotify Premium account - and then pay the requisite £10 monthly fee – to access this celestial jukebox. Again, be warned: once you start down this road, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
The Bottom Line
The app that makes paying for Spotify Premium genuinely worthwhile
. An essential – for those who can afford it.
Requires Android 1.5 and above