Put the boombox away: A Spotify app for your iPad is finally here. The popular music-streaming service (free, if you're willing to tolerate ads) launched in the U.S. in July 2011, premiering as a desktop client that encouraged listeners to piggyback on their friends' musical tastes. Spotify soon made its way onto several mobile devices, and now, the new tablet app is free to download, taps into Spotify's an expansive database of tens of thousands of songs, and pairs with Apple's AirPlay, which lets users stream music to wireless speakers without leaving the couch. (Watch a demo below.) Does the new Spotify live up to its gushing fans' rather grand expectations?
It's terrific: Sure, the new app doesn't have loads of "whiz-bang features," says Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired. But Spotify is "well suited to the iPad's large screen and Retina display," giving users great visuals while they venture "down the rabbit hole of music." Curious listeners can dive into an artist's discography, or discover similar acts like "their bass player's side project." The legions of "breathless Spotify fans" waiting for an iPad app won't be disappointed.
"Spotify releases iPad app at last, with new sonic exploration features"
Actually, it's plagued by familiar problems: Spotify on the iPad is pretty, says Ellis Hamburger at The Verge, but it doesn't negate the many gripes "I have with Spotify's iPhone app, Android app, Mac app... etc." The What's New section intended to highlight new artists is useless, failing to recommend anyone I'm interested in. And Spotify's clumsy sorting options are a chore. You can't even see what your friends are listening to in real-time. If you know exactly what song you want to hear, Spotify's app will "make you happy." But "it's quite poor for discovering new music," which is a shame.
"Spotify for iPad review"
And Spotify's library is lacking: The iPad version of Spotify features "razor sharp graphics of album covers" and "butter-smooth crossfades," says Jonathan Takiff at Philly.com. But Spotify's catalog "came up short compared with Rhapsody and even MOG, another relative newcomer." In terms of contemporary releases, the three have "similar" catalogues. In fringe categories like jazz, classical, or world music, however, Spotify's offerings are meager. The service may be touted as an "all you can eat" music buffet, but it doesn't serve everything.
"Spotify hits the iPad (and the spot)"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 23, 2014
Subscribe to the Week